Beijing International Airport offers faster security screening if you have good credit rating. On the same criterion, Luxembourg and Singapore offer a fast-track visa service, Chinese animal shelters give preference for adopting a pet, and a Chinese dating website gives you better placement. (Financial Times, 20 January).
In principle, the capitalist market opens things out. If you can afford it, or if you choose to skimp on other things to splash on clothes, for example, you can wear what you want. But a new hierarchy may be emerging, with echoes of thee Middle Ages, when, in some times and some places, colour on your clothes and housing was reserved for the higher classes, and the poor’s clothes and houses had to be grey. More recently, for the wealthier classes to consider someone “marriageable”, they had to come from a “good family”.