Date
14 December 2018
Passengers who cause trouble on flights, as well as those who use expired tickets or smoke on trains, are among the people facing restrictions under China's  social credit system. Photo: Reuters
Passengers who cause trouble on flights, as well as those who use expired tickets or smoke on trains, are among the people facing restrictions under China's social credit system. Photo: Reuters

China to bar people with bad ‘social credit’ from planes, trains

China is set to launch its so-called social credit system on flights and trains to stop people with “bad scores” from taking such transport for up to a year.

People who have committed misdeeds, such as spreading false information about terrorism and causing trouble on flights, as well as those who used expired tickets or smoked on trains, would be put on a blacklist, Reuters reports, citing two statements posted on the National Development and Reform Commission’s website last Friday.

Employers who failed to pay social insurance or people who have failed to pay fines would also face such restrictions.

The new rules would come into effect on May 1.

According to a notice signed by several government bodies including the Supreme People’s Court and the aviation regulator, the move is in line with President Xi Jinping’s plan to construct a social credit system based on the principle of “once untrustworthy, always restricted”, the news agency said.

Back in 2014, the State Council outlined a plan to roll out a nationwide tracking system compiling data on individuals, government officials and companies, which will allow government bodies to share information on its citizens’ trustworthiness and issue penalties based on their “social credit scores”.

The Chinese government has been working for the system to be fully implemented across the country by 2020, but some its early versions of it are already in place.

Previous reports noted that the system had been used to deny loans and government financial support to over 6,000 enterprises blacklisted by the government.

The new travel restrictions are the latest addition to the growing patchwork of the social credit system, which has already imposed punishments on millions of citizens.

More than nine million Chinese have been denied air transportation, and over three million people have been prohibited from buying soft sleeper train and bullet train tickets due to their poor credit performance, the National Development and Reform Commission announced earlier this month.

Similar social credit scoring projects have also been underway in the private sector in recent years. Sesame Credit, ran by Alipay, Chinese internet giant Alibaba’s payments affiliate, has been providing social credit ratings for individuals based on their buying habit,s social circles, and credit history, the report said.

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BN/CG

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