Date of Original Version
Although China’s social credit system (SCS) is widely portrayed by Western media as repressive surveillance, recent studies show that it receives high levels of support among Chinese citizens. Previous research suggests that people support the SCS because they lack knowledge about the system. This study further examines the roles of media framing (Western vs Chinese framing) and monitored behaviors (financial vs social behaviors). The results from a survey experiment conducted in China (N = 1600) demonstrate that when exposed to Western framing, public support for the SCS is lower, but only when participants are informed that the SCS monitors social behavior. By contrast, when people are told that the SCS focuses on financial behavior, Western framing exposure is not associated with low levels of public support. The findings suggest that an expansion to social domains and exposure to Western media framing will likely result in decreased support for the system.
Publication Title, e.g., Journal
New Media & Society
Xu, P., Krueger, B., Liang, F., Zhang, M., Hutchison, M., & Chang, M. (2023). Media framing and public support for China’s social credit system: An experimental study. New Media & Society, 0(0). https://doi.org/10.1177/14614448231187823
Available at: https://doi.org/10.1177/14614448231187823