Here are this week’s headlines, brought to you by our Student Commercial Awareness Team:
- 'China Set to Extend Social Credit System to Oversees Companies
Reported by Dan Petch
According to a recent report, China’s controversial social credit system’s influence is now reaching beyond its own borders in attempt to control foreign companies and how they operate in China.
The system restricts individuals from certain privileges but has reportedly been used to sanction foreign airline companies as well.
The system is set to be rolled out nationally by 2020, assigning citizens with a “trustworthiness” score and reward and punishing accordingly. The system is currently undergoing a series of pilot-projects to test the best working mechanism going forward.
The Australian Strategic Policy Institution however says the system aims to control individuals’ behavior to conform with policies the Chinese government has in place.
“Credit Management Measures” were put into place in January, targeting aviation companies which China expressly stated themselves was an attempt to incorporate the credit system into the economy.
This measure against the aviation industry is said to go against the sovereignty of other nations according to a recent report.
The report stated that the Chinese warned that a failure to comply by the airlines would constitute “bad behaviour” and so would be sanctioned.
In January all companies with a business licence were required to apply for a “unified social credit code” in order to “improve administrative efficiency”, the report went on to mention. Meaning that all credit violations are stored in one location which can then result in triggering further sanctions.
Most sanctions are political in nature as individuals and companies are forced to support the Chinese Government.
For more information, see Business Insider.
- Women Protest During the San Fermín Bull Festival
Reported by Anna Flaherty
The San Fermín bull festival is world famous; however this year, the festival has been subject to protest. At last year’s festival, five men sexually abused a woman, but were sentenced on ‘a lesser charge than rape’ (rather than sexual assault or rape) by the relevant authorities. These men (referred to as the “wolf pack” by the Spanish public) were only sentenced to nine years in prison, and have already been released on bail, pending appeal. Due to the result of this case, the “wolf pack” could technically attend the festival again this year. As a result, thousands have protested. Some groups have called for people to wear black and purple scarves to the opening event of the festival, rather than the traditional clothing. Other groups have called for a total boycott of the events.
Pamplona, home to the festival, has responded to these protests by calling for “joy and respect for others, especially respect for all females” on its official website. Their website also stated that “everyone is respected just as they would be in any other quite different situation, and that applies both to men and women”. This seems to rather overlook the fact that sexual violence, and the failure of the law to provide justice, is a widespread issue rather than just a concern during festivals.
Read more here.
- A dramatic day in store as Cabinet tries to agree on Brexit
Reported by Nathan Gore
Prime Minister Theresa May is under pressure to resolve deep splits within her Cabinet over how to proceed with Brexit. Having been unable to resolve the Cabinet’s disagreements in the previous few months, the prime minister is having to gather her entire cabinet this Friday at her country retreat – Chequers – to try and trash out a new proposal.
This proposal will aim to set out how the future relations between the UK and the EU should work, what compromises should be made, and how closely the UK should be sticking to current EU rules and legislation.
The UK is leaving the EU’s custom union, but now the ministers in the PM’s Cabinet need to agree on what it should be replaced with. Some of the key issues include the border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, and also ensuring that trade for businesses remains as friction-less as possible after the UK leaves the EU.
The UK is due to leave the European Union at 23:00 GMT on 29 March 2019, and in order for this to happen, ministers needs to have a full framework laid out by the Autumn.