A man checks his personal credit report at a bank in Meishan, Southwest China's Sichuan Province. (Photo: IC)
"Checking a partner's personal credit record upon marriage" became a trending hashtag on China's social media over the weekend after reports surfaced of engaged couples breaking up over revealed personal credit stains.
Many Chinese experts and online advocates argued that clarification of a partner's credit record was needed upon marriage so as to learn about hidden loan problems or potential debt disputes. Others argue that requirement to check the record can destroy romantic relationships and undermine trust between lovers.
The hashtag attracted 120 million views as of Sunday night.
Chinese experts suggested that checking up on a partner's credit secrets may become a trend among young couples in the near future aided and abetted by a more mature social credit investigation system.
China has promoted and developed an increasingly rigorous social credit system since 2015.
A Chinese resident's social credit report is being used in job recruitment, loans and credit cards.
It was "necessary" to check each other's personal credit status before marriage, Zhao Zhanling, a legal counsel of the Beijing-based Internet Society of China, told the Global Times.
Noting the issues such as "excessive consumption" among younger people, Zhao said that "Hidden debt problems before marriage can place a risk of heavy burden on mutual property."
"Some internet users claimed that as well as a personal credit guarantee couples should undergo as a premarital physical check, which was made not mandatory in China after October 2003.
Wang Yuan, a 35-year-old from the municipality of Tianjin in North China, volunteered his credit report when he proposed to his wife.
"My wife and I met on a blind date and only knew each other for less than two years when we decided to marry," Wang told the Global Times.
"Offering the report was intended to reassure her parents that I am reliable and responsible for our marriage."
Some opponents argue that marriage should be based on mutual trust and that checking credit records can cause a crisis of trust and harm the relationship.
Premarital inspection of each other's credit records "is not yet common" based on its limited degree of social acceptance and the unsound social credit service at the moment, said Zhao.
According to Credit China, a government website that provides open credit information for public access, a total of 375,073 pieces of discredit information were generated in September, involving 317,383 entities.