China to ban citizens with bad ‘social credit’

Starting May 1, China will be imposing strict penalties for those with low scores on its so-called social credit system. Chinese citizens with low scores will be unable to travel via plane or train for up to an year, states a release by National Development and Reform Commission.

China’s controversial social credit system is President Xi Jinping’s plan to score citizens based both on financial and social behavior, creating a number similar to a credit score in the United States.

It is not just the criminal acts and financial that will affect the score, it also records who they speak with, what they do and their shopping habits. Those spreading false information, causing trouble on public transportation, using expired travel tickets, failing to pay social insurance, or smoking on trains will be the first group punished under the new system.

The final version of the scoring system will be unveiled in 2020, and will relay real-time data reports on citizens to government officials, law enforcement, and possibly even other private citizens. The country is finding new ways for data tapping; with advanced level tests with real-time facial recognition.