Losing cred with the state blocked travel plans for millions of Chinese last year

by WorldTribune Staff, March 4, 2019

A slogan repeated in Chinese state media says, “Once you lose trust, you will face restrictions everywhere.”

People with poor social credit scores were banned from buying plane or train tickets 23 million times in 2018, a Chinese government report said.

By 2020, China plans to give all its 1.4 billion citizens a social credit score based on behavior.

China’s National Public Credit Information Center reported that people were blocked 17.5 million times from purchasing airplane tickets, and 5.5 million times from buying high-speed train tickets.

The people had become “discredited” for unspecified behavioral crimes through a social credit system that was implemented in May of last year, the report said.

In October, U.S. Vice President Mike Pence criticized the social credit system, calling it “an Orwellian system premised on controlling virtually every facet of human life.”

The communist Chinese government has also issued a public blacklist of those who have been found guilty of crimes in court. Punishment for the offenders includes limiting their ability to buy plane and train tickets, preventing them from purchasing property, and denying them access to higher education.

The regime of supreme leader Xi Jinping plans to have a file on every Chinese citizen by 2020. The file will include all the data collected on their behavior, according to publicly available government documents.

Companies on the social credit score blacklist can lose government contracts or access to bank loans or be barred from issuing bonds or importing goods.

Offenses penalized under “social credit” last year included false advertising or violating drug safety rules, the government information center said. Individuals with low scores were blocked 290,000 times from taking senior management jobs or acting as a company’s legal representative.

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