Millions of Chinese citizens have been discredited by Beijing’s social credit system, according to a new annual report.
In the last year alone, nearly 3.6 million individuals were discredited by the nation’s social credit watchdog.
Authorities have blocked more than 17 million attempts to buy flight tickets and more than 5.4 million attempts to buy high-speed train tickets from travellers deemed ‘untrustworthy’ by the system by the end of 2018.
Chinese authorities have blocked over 5.4 million attempts to buy high-speed train tickets from untrustworthy travellers. These passenger would need to take slow trains (file photo)
More than 12,900 individuals and companies have been banned from carrying out various forms of financial trading and 128 people who owe taxes have been prohibited from leaving the country.
China’s social credit system rates citizens based on their daily behaviour, and this could range from their bank credit to their social media activities.
With a tagline of ‘once discredited, everywhere restricted’, it vows to punish ‘untrustworthy’ citizens in as many ways as possible.
The figures were released yesterday by the country’s National Public Credit Information Centre, the governing body of the social credit system.
So far, the Centre has put 14.21 million incidents on its social credit blacklist. In 2018 alone, four million entries involving nearly 3.6 million discredited individuals were added into the database.
The report says the authority has further expanded the area monitored by the social credit system to fields such as charity and scientific research, and tougher punishments will be given in the future.
China plans to complete the social credit system by 2020 after starting out in 2014 (file photo)
Train passengers could face travel bans if they endanger railway safety, smoke on high-speed trains, sell on tickets, produce fake tickets, dodge tickets, among others, according to People’s Daily.
While air passengers could be banned from future flights for behaviours including spreading rumours about terror attacks, breaking into runways, assaulting the crew and causing disruption on flight.
China plans to complete the national social credit system by 2020 after starting out in 2014.
While the citizens financial credit would be supervised by banks, their online behaviour is due to be tracked by China’s main technology companies, such as Tencent and Alibaba which owns substantial amount of personal data through their social media apps and e-commerce websites.
Once built, the national system could determine how easy a citizen could rent a flat, buy travel tickets or pay for a cup of tea.