China’s Social Credit System Stopped 11 Million Flights

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Back in December, reports were popping up about the deployment of China’s social credit system, a rating system for their citizens’ “trustworthiness.” Since then, we’ve gotten a look at its effectiveness. So far, the social credit system has blocked citizens from taking 11.14 million flights and 4.25 million trips on the high-speed train system.

These statistics were reported by none other than Global Times, a state-run Chinese news agency. Unfortunately, while people are being banned from public transit left and right, no one really knows what types of crimes or rating numbers lead to such a ban. Other penalties include throttling Internet speeds and even denying loans or jobs. For some officials, these penalties are not enough.

Hou Yunchun, a former State Council executive, says that the social credit system has to be upgraded and refined. “If we don’t increase the cost of being discredited, we are encouraging discredited people to keep at it,” Hou reportedly said at an annual credit development forum in Beijing.

China’s social credit system does affects both citizens and companies – the same report says that the names of 33,000 companies that violated laws and regulations were already publicly published.

The system will be tested on millions of Chinese citizens up until 2020 at which point it will roll out countrywide.

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