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Shenzhen credit to residency system: reforms and violations

May 15, 2014

konjaku: “We should mention that the credit to residency system is not a new thing. Shenzhen, Guangzhou, and Shanghai have already launched a pilot programs. In the program Guangzhou launched in 2011, one condition is “paid social security tax in Guangzhou for a period of at least one year” and “having a junior middle school record [grades 7-9, endpoint of compulsory education] or above.” Last year Shenzhen abolished the education requirement.” (previous post).
In the first article, in which the author criticizes Shenzhen for making changes to its credit to residency, we get a glimpse of how the system works. The second article was picked up by many internet media outlets.

Shenzhen’s Credit system to residency comes under fire (Commentary)

Shenzhen’s new 2014 credit system to residency policy was announced the other day. It abolishes “high or middle school record” as a credit, and it puts strict limits on the amount of credits earned for volunteer work. Many netizens have complained that the Shenzhen administration is excessively harsh in its requirements. They say it leaves no way open for the vast majority of rural villagers turned migrant workers to get credits, and it gives a green light to wealthier families who received credits just for taxes paid. They asked that the value system in place be open to debate.

The migrants find the “bias toward formal schooling” to be the most egregious. The purpose was to attract people of ability and those with specialized technical skills. In reaction to the criticism, the Shenzhen new policy now makes a big show of “abolishing academic record credits.” However, those migrants who did not go on to middle school but at least had an elementary school record, can no longer get any credit for that.

Next the new policy reduces the credits for volunteer or philanthropic work. This is detrimental to encouraging people to do good works and act in accordance with good social conduct. In the original policy, for every 50 hours of volunteer service one received two credits, not to exceed 10 credits. In the new policy the cut-off is at five credits. Shenzhen, widely known as the city of volunteers, has always put forward the notion that, “if you come here, by volunteering,you will become a Shenzhen person.” Nowadays those who line up to do volunteer work find that it brings them no closer to being “a Shenzhen person.” With their dream made more remote, will they devote themselves to working for free for the social good, as they did before?

Although the credit threshold has been made easier in the new policy, one thing remains the same: those who have paid a quantity of taxes are favored. If a person has paid between 35,000 and 46,000 in taxes, they acquire 30 credits. If they paid between 46,000 and 58,000, they acquire 40 credits. As netizens point out, it seems Shenzhen places a person’s economic value above everything else.

Since in medical benefits, education, etc., public resources are disproportionally allotted to the cities under the two tier urban and rural system, having an urban permanent residency is highly desirable. It is understandable that city governments would set up some sort of winnowing procedure to cope with demand. Since Shenzhen is a leader in establishing a credit to residency process, it should encourage migrant workers to improve themselves and participate in social welfare activities. It should not make unpredictable changes in policy, or go back on its word. It should also not be wholly materialistic, and seek only profit. If the current trend continues, only the well-educated and wealthy will benefit, and the vast majority of migrant workers will be bitterly disappointed.

Shenzhen government employees resell residency credits at a profit, pocketing over 3.5 million
Xinhua net in Shenzhen reported on 4-20 that a city commission for inspecting discipline has revealed that in the Pingshan New District in Shenzhen, the Director of the Human Affairs and Manpower Resources Department He Weicai and employee Nie Xiaoqing are being investigated for a serious violation of the law. They are suspected of taking bribes in return for giving people the needed credits to qualify for residency.

The investigation uncovered that in 2014 their department examined and approved 71 documents submitted for credits (planned birth certificates, school records, tax receipts, etc.) which were fabricated Along with these, 298 documents [presumably not fabricated] were lost.

According to the investigation, in 2013, He Weicai abused his office by setting aside more than 200 credits, which he held in reserve for the Zhang Kuijian gang. He and Nie Xiaoqing colluded with the gang to forge documents for credit applications. They fabricated 300 false residency credit applications, and forged the documents supporting the applications, to avoid detection by department investigations. He Weicai received 2.5 million yuan in kickbacks, and used 1.5 million to buy himself a house. Both men have been handed over to the police for further investigation.






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