Of-course that loophole would end with mind-imaging. The government has the _right_ to your thoughts to see if you are deviating from lawful conformity. Negative/non-conforming thoughts will adversely affect your social credit score. Superior citizens receive superior benefits!
Those who fail the conformity test can be admitted to a separate labour class that best matches their talents. Mundane work is important for a modern society and some opportunity should be given to the talentless.
The next logical step after that would be full-fledged eugenics. After all, if any patterns on large data-sets can be established linking CCP approved intelligence, focus, behaviour and conformity to genes, then birth-preference should be given to such superior citizens who will contribute most greatly to the future of the state.
This is not merely the road to hell, its the high-speed 1000 km/hour bullet train to hell.
For the truly dissident, their organs can benefit the state.
The chinese kids are just guinea pigs.
I think it is extremly problematic, that WSJ tries to create the impression, that it is China that develops this dystopian mind reading tech.
tl;dr is that they kinda work, but not nearly as effective as advertised.
It also raises the point that even if it didn't work, all you need to suppress people is for them to believe that it's working.