Have you had to pay a fine recently? Well forget about buying a plane ticket. This is how the very controversial system of social credit works in China, a system that has now been in place for a few years. Chinese authorities have prevented more than 23 million people from travelling last year according to a report from the National Centre of Information regarding credit.
Since 2014, the Chinese government have been testing a system of social credit. This system evaluates the behaviour of its own citizens so as to reward the good. If good citizens are not rewarded then the bad citizens are sanctioned. Offenses are wide: from dissident political opinions to not paying your fines. It also includes taking drugs or walking a dog without a lead. If you have committed one of these offenses there the you are written onto a black list. These people are not allowed to benefit from bank loans or to buy an apartment. However a new sanction has recently been added. Now you are not even allowed to travel.
More than 23 million people are affected
According to the report from the National Centre of Information about credit, Last year China prevented 17.5 million badly noted citizens from buying plane tickets. It scarily makes you think of Black Mirror… More than 5 million people have also supposedly been forbidden from buying train tickets. It is also reported that last year authorities collected more than 14 million pieces of data regarding “untrustworthy conduct”. Chinese companies are also concerned by this system. Bad companies are also denied the right to bid on projects or issue corporate bonds.
System could spread to public transport
This very controversial Orwellian social credit system which has been deemed too strict by defenders of Human Rights seems to be working. However at what price? Apparently about 3.5 million people or companies have already paid their unpaid taxes as a result of this system. The “success” of this system means that Chinese authorities plan in the future to prohibit black listed citizens the right to public transport for one year.
Currently the system is still being piloted by the local government. However Peking aims to continue to put in place a centalised centre of information that would be able to note more than 1.3 billion Chinese citizens.