It's been in the pipeline for years: a sprawling, technological mass surveillance network the likes of which the world has never seen. And it's already been switched on.
China's "Social Credit System" – which is expected to be fully operational by 2020 – doesn't just monitor the nation's almost 1.4 billion citizens. It's also designed to control and coerce them, in a gigantic social engineering experiment that some have called the "gamification of trust".
That's because the massive project, which has been slowly coming together for over a decade, is about assigning an individual trust score to each and every citizen, and to businesses too.
According to China's Communist Party, the system will "allow the trustworthy to roam freely under heaven while making it hard for the discredited to take a single step".
To pull this off, the unprecedented scheme will harness the immense reach of China's technological infrastructure: some 200 million CCTV cameras, according to a report by Australia's Foreign Correspondent.