China’s social credit system is proving to be a force to be reckoned with. Last year the government blocked 11.1 million flights, and this year that number has more than doubled. On Monday, Meng Min, a spokesperson for the National Development and Reform Commission, announced that the purchase of 25.4 million flights and almost 5.9 million high-speed rail tickets were restricted as of the end of May.
Those who have been deemed unruly or caught disrupting train services were banned from buying tickets for up to 180 days. Violations include smoking on trains, selling fake tickets and using fake IDs, among other illicit activities. To make matters even more difficult for troublesome travelers, offenders’ names are published on ticketing website 12306.cn and China’s social credit website, creditchina.gov.cn on the first working day of each month.
Social credit system planning started in 2014, with the aim of all social credit scores being publicly available by 2020. The idea behind this system is to ensure the integrity of China’s citizens, while exposing the dishonest.
When we asked the opinions of Chinese citizens from two different generations on their thoughts on travel bans, both thought the system was overall reasonable. They concluded that in today’s fast-paced technological world, credibility is important to avoid financial and social issues.
[Cover pic via Unsplash]