The People’s Republic of China is instituting a new Communist correctness credit score. The score will be tied to people’s government identification cards. While this is a government program, two private companies will be running the system: Tencent and Alibaba.
This public-private partnership of tyranny is important, because we need to watch both how US Democrats react to it, as well as how Wall Street investors and banks respond.
How the Democrats react to this is important. Barack Obama’s White House has had a cozy relationship with Google from the start. Is it completely out of the question that the Democrats who targeted conservatives with the IRS would try to work with Google to track criticism of Obama, and score IRS filings with it?
Or what if it’s not Google? What if Walmart or some other company starts sending information about buyers of guns or ammunition? There are many ways we might see Democrats in government working with private industry to try to track and rate citizens on their compliance with political correctness, then use that information to guide government actions.
But how Wall Street and big businesses react to this matters, too. Alibaba and Tencent both have recently had IPOs, but even before then, American business was starting to invest in these companies. As the Weekly Standard points out, Yahoo is heavily invested in Alibaba, and Alibaba’s SEC filings show a sustained interest in gathering American investment.
Tencent has gotten less hype from investors but has built a large presence in the west. Tencent is the parent company of the makers of League of Legends, a popular online video game with an entire industry of professional play around it. Tencent owns over 90% of Riot Games. Though Tencent’s biggest product is the QQ instant messenger, popular in China.
These companies, by signing on to operate this program, are choosing to take an active role in the oppression of the Chinese people. They can now be compared with Dehomag (Deutsche Hollerith-Maschinen Gesellschaft). Dehomag was IBM’s German subsidiary, named for the American-born Herman Hollerith, son of a German immigrant and inventor of punched cards.
Dehomag sold computing technology to the German government, and kept them supplied in punched cards, aiding in the creation of reports about conquered populations, which then fed into the operation of the Holocaust. The Nazis could not have murdered so many millions, as systematically as they did, without Dehomag’s help.
It’s unlikely that the People’s Republic of China could ramp up its suppression of freedoms without the assistance of Tencent and Alibaba. Will investors punish that, or reap the blood profits?