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June 19, 2014

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Job applicant credit records to be checked

SHANGHAI’S credit database use will be extended next year to link up with employment and residence permit applications, local lawmakers said yesterday.

A personal credit report will likely be used in the selection of public servants next year on a trial basis, Shanghai’s legislative body said yesterday, in a review of Shanghai’s social credit system.

Currently, personal credit reports on the database are consulted when vetting applications for low-cost housing and other services.

And business reports are scrutinized for enterprises seeking involvement in ventures such as the Shanghai Free Trade Zone.

A survey by lawmakers found more than three quarters of respondents urged tougher punishments for dishonest behavior and for the personal credit report to be linked to bank loan applications.

Some lawmakers felt that more linked up uses of the database would increase its effectiveness.

“The credit platform has yet to have an effective impact,” said Li Yaoxin, director with the Shanghai Municipal Commission of Economy and Informatization.

More than 2.5 million searches have been made on personal and enterprise credit information since Shanghai launched the public credit search platform on on April 30.

Individuals and legal representatives can view their own credit information but not that of others, in order to protect commercial secrets and individual privacy.

Government bodies and other organizations authorized to check credit information can also access the database.

A total of 50 government departments have promised to provide information for the platform, while the city’s industry and commerce and taxation authorities, food safety and environment watchdogs and Customs have begun using the database.

Help development

The city’s civil service bureau is also consulting the database when making decisions on rewarding and punishing civil servants, Li said.

City government plans to develop eight large credit service providers to help the development of the platform, he told the lawmakers.

The credit report database will soon influence bank loans, recruitment and applications for the city’s residential certificates, predicted Li.

The platform has already helped the city government avoid losses of 2 billion yuan (US$320 million) during applications for low-cost housing and other supporting services for low-income residents, said officials.

And it is proving valuable for assessing enterprises’ credit, they added.


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