Exam Cheats and Train Seat Thieves to Be Blacklisted in Guangzhou

By Ryan Gandolfo, May 2, 2019

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Guangzhou is taking a no-nonsense approach to high-speed train seat thieves and exam day cheaters by shaming them on a social credit list, according to Global Times.

A draft bylaw recently released by the Guangzhou government aims to curb this negative behavior, with plans to blacklist individuals who “refuse to comply with certain expected standards of public behavior.” Other taboo behaviors that can cause a person to lose credit include refusing to pay taxes, accidents due to negligence, receiving social security unlawfully and obstructing the normal operations of public transportation and medical treatment, according to Xinhua.

With an ever-growing database of information helping to form the city’s social credit system, the new draft also has guidelines that claim to protect people’s credit information. Zhu Lijia, a professor of public management at the Chinese Academy of Governance in Beijing, told Global Times that the aim of the system “is to increase people’s sense of integrity.”

Social credit schemes are on the rise in many Chinese cities as local governments develop these systems to hold citizens more accountable, punishing residents with bad scores either by publicly shaming them or banning them from traveling.

Netizens had different takeaways from the latest draft bylaw, posting on Weibo under the hashtag ‘test cheaters and high-speed train seat stealers will lose credit’ (#考试作弊高铁霸座将纳入失信信息#). Some praised the latest announcement as a step in the right direction for society, with one person posting “Being civilized cannot merely depend on your own conscientiousness, it needs to be enforced. The earlier [the system] is integrated, the more civilized our society will become.”

Meanwhile, other netizens shared their concerns about the new rules, with one person writing “People with poor behavior can infuriate others, opening themselves up to negative public opinion. However, administering a punishment must be done according to law. Leaving too much room for interpretation is inadvisable. If you steal someone’s seat on a high-speed train, then you should be restricted from riding the train, but it doesn’t make sense to also affect their ability to take out a loan from a bank…”

People have been quick to bring up blacklists when they see unruly behavior surface online. Three tourists recently destroyed part of a 4-million-year-old stalactite in Shandong province, with netizens immediately calling for the hooligans to be banned from traveling to other tourist sites in the future.

READ MORE: Generation Gap: On China's Emerging Social Credit System

[Cover image via Pixabay]

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