China ban: Millions of people have been prevented from flying due to new social score credit system
China has prevented millions of passengers travelling since announcing citizens who broke the law or for minor offences would be stopped from flying.
By using a new social credit system that is currently being built, people who live in the country have their bad behaviour checked against their name.
According to a report in Global Times, a state-run news outlet in China, the figures do not break down what the offences were.
The offences are somewhat ambiguous but can range from very serious to smaller grievances.
They include bad behaviour on public transport, spreading false information or smoking on trains, as well as being in debt and not paying fines.
It has also prevented citizens taking 4.25 million high-speed train journeys
The credit system has already been used to prevent fast internet speeds and for citizens with bad behaviour from gaining a loan.
It has also prevented citizens taking 4.25 million high-speed train journeys, as well as stopped them staying in luxury hotels.
Citizens are using a credit rater app called Sesame Credit to track their score.
Approved by China’s central bank, it offers scores from 350 to 950.
The higher the score, the better the rating, and could allow the person to get additional perks when booking hotels and trains.
China ban: Passengers with ‘bad behaviour’ can get a bad credit score
According to Global Times, Hou Yun Chun, a former Chinese official, explained: “If we don’t increase the cost of being discredited, we are encouraging discredited people to keep at it.”
He said it was necessary so “discredited people become bankrupt.”
Many fear the social credit system, which is hoped to be fully rolled out in the country by 2020, could be unreasonable.
US-based Chinese economist Cheng Xiaonong told Radio Free Asia it was a “misuse” of the system to prevent citizens travelling.
Fears the government’s system is an invasion or privacy have caused concerns.
China ban: Flight bans, train bans and even luxury hotel and purchases can be banned
The new system was reported earlier this year, with it rolled out from May 1.
Many have compared the social credit scoring to Black Mirror, a popular UK TV show when an episode showed a man fight to keep a high “social score”.
In the UK, while the government do not have the power to ban people from flying, airlines are able to blacklist customers who behave badly.
Jet2 banned 22 passengers in 2016 for life from flying with them after drunken disruptions.