Imagine living in a world where your life is defined by a number. No, it's not your age, not your test score, not your size...
It's a social score that defines how reliable you are (financially). This score will decide what you can have in the society.
This might sound like a strange concept but in China it's not hard to find someone who would happily show you their scores. If you're dating, you might want to check someone's score before hitting the "chat now" button. Many businesses now filter their customers using this social credit system.
Sesame Credit (Zhima credit) is so far the most popular and well-known in the social credit field. We have included below a brief overview of what it is and how it works so you can feel a bit less overwhelmed by this whole 'social score' thing.
What is Sesame Credit (Zhima Credit)?
Sesame Credit (Zhima Credit) is an independent third-party credit check company run by Ant Financial. Ant is an affiliate company of the Chinese Alibaba Group. Sesame Credit uses the data it collects to assign a score to its users. The lowest score is 350 and the highest is 950. Those with a higher score can enjoy convenience and benefits in many areas, such as getting a credit card, shopping, applying for a loan, booking a hotel room, renting a house or car, dating and so on.
Examples of data that Sesame Credit collects
Top 10 cities that have introduced deposit-free services supported by sesame credit
How is Sesame Credit used
A hospital in Guangzhou, China allows patients with over 650 sesame credit to pay post medical treatments (with a cap of $3,000 RMB). ↓ ↓ ↓ ↓ ↓
Users with a good sesame credit score can borrow umbrellas and power banks for free. ↓ ↓ ↓ ↓ ↓
There was a brief period when users with a sesame score of 750 or above could access the priority lane at the Beijing airport. ↓ ↓ ↓ ↓ ↓
Users with a sesame score above 600 can book a xiaozhu room (short-term rentals) without any deposit and get 50% off on the first night stay. ↓ ↓ ↓ ↓ ↓
Users with a good sesame score can rent (long-term) on Mogoroom.com without paying any deposit. ↓ ↓ ↓ ↓ ↓
Users with a score above a certain level can rent bikes without paying any deposit. ↓ ↓ ↓ ↓ ↓
Users with a score above 650 can rent cars from eHi Car Service without paying any deposit. ↓ ↓ ↓ ↓ ↓
On dating websites like Baihe.com, you can check someone's sesame credit score before deciding if you want to speak to that person. ↓ ↓ ↓ ↓ ↓
Users with 700+ or 750+ sesame points can apply for visa to Singapore and Luxembourg respectively using a much more simple online process with less documents to hand in. ↓ ↓ ↓ ↓ ↓
Sesame Credit is increasingly used by the Chinese population in many important areas such as shopping, dating, car and bike rental, room rental, loan and credit card applications and so on. Businesses are able to take advantage of Sesame Credit to offer more tailored services for their customers and clients. If you have a high score, you can also enjoy more convenience and quality service. This is a potentially an extremely powerful system that will have a huge impact on the way people interact and do business in China.