China’s “social credit” system, which the government has said it is planning to implement sometime in 2020, is already slowly taking shape.
The National Development and Reform Commission reportedly announced via its website that beginning in May, individuals deemed to have committed serious acts of “dishonor” will no longer be allowed to travel on trains or flights for up to one year.
According to Reuters, a total of eight ministries signed the memo, including the country’s aviation regulator and the Supreme People’s Court.
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Based on the announcement, infractions such as using expired tickets or not paying social insurance will warrant temporary bans on travel via airplane or train. Refusing to pay a debt or spreading false information about terrorism can also result in being one of the “discredited” members of society.
President’s Xi Jinping’s social credit system, which has drawn a comparison to the terrifying “Black Mirror” episode “Nosedive” about a dystopian future, is intended to penalize citizens who commit a variety of violations. Unlike the popular episode, however, it is the government which determines a person’s rating, instead of one’s social circle.
The policy has been explained to be based on the principle of “once untrustworthy, always restricted” as noted in one of its notices. Its system involves government bodies being able to share information on its citizens’ trustworthiness score and having the authority to issue what they may deem to be “appropriate” penalties.
This is made possible by the government’s highly centralized database of its citizens who are required to use their personal ID card number for tasks, such as booking a flight or even signing up for a social media account.
Featured Image (right) via YouTube/Netflix