China is suggesting the implementation of a comparable system to its social credit system in the virtual realm, including the metaverse and other online virtual environments.

As reported by POLITICO, China Mobile, a state-owned telecom firm, has suggested a digital ID system for metaverse and online virtual domains. Therefore, this system would rely on “innate characteristics” and “communal traits” to uphold order and security in the virtual realm.

Additionally, the suggested social credit system would include personal details and distinct indicators to ensure the security of the digital realm. This information would consist of a person’s job and other recognizable traits. The gathered data would be stored permanently and shared with authorities.

Consequently, to demonstrate the benefits of this system, a hypothetical scenario is presented: a disruptive user who spreads misinformation and disrupts the metaverse. With digital identification, law enforcement could quickly locate and address the individual.

This proposal closely resembles China’s existing social credit system, a developing infrastructure designed to incentivize positive behavior by assigning scores and rankings to citizens across various metrics. It has also been employed as a means of enforcement.

However, in 2019, the Associated Press revealed that those with social credit problems were blocked from buying plane tickets about 17.5 million times in 2018. Hence, other wrongdoers received penalties like being denied train ticket purchases, totaling around 5.5 million instances.

China’s Metaverse Social Credit Plan: Impact, Proposals, and Implications

China Mobile presented these proposals on July 5 to a focused discussion group on the metaverse. This group is organized by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), a UN agency for communication technology. The focus group plans to reconvene in October, potentially leading to a vote on the proposals.

Furthermore, if approved, these proposals could significantly shape the practices of telecommunications companies and technology firms. The ITU’s metaverse group aims to formulate new benchmarks for metaverse services.

Interestingly, a focus group contributor mentioned that Chinese companies proposed more metaverse ideas than Europe and the US. This information was reported by POLITICO. The contributor hinted that China aims to make its proposals the metaverse standard if widely adopted.

The individual questioned, “Picture a metaverse where Chinese authorities dictate and oversee your identity protocols. Each government must reflect on whether that is the kind of immersive world they envision inhabiting.”

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