Confucius and credit

Shanghai govt’s move shows growing tension between traditional society that believes in Confucian culture of filial duty and a modern consumerist capitalist culture that revolves around credit scores


The fact that the Shanghai city government has decided to use credit scores as a stick shows the culture of debt has seeped deeply into urban China.
The fact that the Shanghai city government has decided to use credit scores as a stick shows the culture of debt has seeped deeply into urban China.

Call it the curious case of Confucius meeting the market.

The city government of Shanghai has said it will cut the credit score of any citizen who does not take care of his or her elderly parents.

There are several lessons to be gleaned from this move.

First, decades of strict birth control has left China with too few children to take care of their parents.

Second, the weakening of family ties matters more because China has not been able to build a welfare state for a rapidly ageing population.

Three, the fact that the government has decided to use credit scores as a stick shows the culture of debt has seeped deeply into urban China.

But most of all, it shows a growing tension between a traditional society that believes in the Confucian culture of filial duty and a modern consumerist capitalist culture that revolves around credit scores.

It is not surprising that communism does not feature anywhere in this.

Only a few naive Indian comrades see China as a communist country.

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