China reportedly monitors what civil servants do outside work as the country rolls out its ambitious social credit system


Local authorities around China have started monitoring civil servants’ behavior outside of work hours, Bloomberg reported, as it sets up its ambitious surveillance state over citizens, bureaucrats, and Communist Party members.

At least three cities in China have rolled out various measures to track public servants’ loyalty and behavior in their personal lives over the past year, Bloomberg reported.

They include assessing employees’ behavior at work, at home, and in public to determine performance reviews and promotions, Bloomberg said. The specific kinds of behavior that would help or jeopardize a public servant’s performance are not clear.

Surveillance cameras in front of the giant portrait of Chairman Mao Zedong at Beijing’s Tiananmen Square in September 2009. China is increasingly monitoring on citizens’ behavior. Jason Lee/Reuters

It comes as China sets up its ambitious social credit system, which aims to track, reward, and punish citizens’ social behavior in an attempt to make people trust each other again.

The system is currently piecemeal and still in trial mode across local authorities, though authorities previously said they wanted to roll it out nationwide in 2020.

Social credit systems across the country have so far cracked down on dog owners, jaywalkers, and people found misbehaving