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These are the things that can get you punished under China's creepy 'social credit' system — from fake news to jaywalking

These are the things that can get you punished under China's creepy 'social credit' system — from fake news to jaywalking
China social credit system: Things you can do wrong, and punishments - Business Insider

China is monitoring and ranking millions of citizens, to dole out punishments and rewards.

China is setting up a massive ranking system to monitor the behaviour of its 1.4 billion citizens and give them a score based on their "social credit."

The ultimate goal is to hammer into citizens the idea that "keeping trust is glorious and breaking trust is disgraceful," the Chinese government has said. Good scores get rewarded, and bad ones punished.

Penalties include being banned from taking trains, having your internet speed cut, and being publicly shamed.

The programme will be fully operational by 2020, but is being piloted for millions of people already.

Business Insider has rounded up some of ways citizens can get on the wrong side of the authorities. Scroll down to see what they are.

Blocking the sidewalk.

china pavement dozing
A man dozes off next to his bicycle on a pavement in Beijing.
David Gray/Reuters

A shopkeeper in Qingdao, eastern China, was prohibited from buying tickets he left four electric bikes parked on a pavement, the Sydney Morning Herald reported in March.

Jaywalking.

shenzhen jaywalkers shamed
Jaywalkers in Shenzhen named and shamed on a government website.
Shenzhen City Transport Police

Authorities in various Chinese cities photograph jaywalkers and publicly shame them.

In Shenzhen, southeastern China, jaywalkers' photos, surnames, and redacted ID numbers are displayed on massive screens by the road almost immediately. This information is also uploaded to a government website, as seen above.

Intellifusion, the Chinese AI firm in charge of the facial recognition technology, is also working on sending texts to jaywalkers alerting them of their fine immediately after the incident, the South China Morning Post reported.

This 2015 video shows an early version of how jaywalkers are treated in Mianyang, southwestern China.

 

You can also be punished for trying to ride the train without tickets.

train china
A security officer at Lhasa Liuwu Railway Station in Tibet.
Reuters

Starting on May 1, authorities will punish citizens who try to board trains with fake tickets, a government notice recently announced.

People who use forged or invalid IDs to buy their tickets will be punished as well.

Loitering at airport check-in desks, security screening areas, and boarding gates.

LGW London Gatwick British Air checkin
Check-in desks at Gatwick Airport, London.
David Slotnick/Business Insider

Source: Chinese government notice

Refusing to serve in the Chinese army.

china military
Jon Woo/Reuters

Seventeen people who enlisted in the army, then changed their minds, were banned from going to university, booking vacations, and travelling first-class on the country's trains, the state-owned Beijing News reported.

Four other people who asked to be discharged early were banned from leaving the country or getting a government job for three years, the state-run Global Times newspaper said.

"Their behaviour has created a bad social influence," the Global Times wrote.

Spreading fake news, specifically about terrorist attacks or airplane security.

air china beijing airport
An Air China plane at Beijing International Airport.
REUTERS/Carlos Barria

Source: Chinese government notice

Taking up more space in airplane seats and luggage racks than you need.

airplane
Flickr / Matthew Hurst

Source: Chinese government notice

Using phones and laptops on planes when you're not supposed to.

Laptops Airplane Flight
A flight out of John F Kennedy Airport in New York.
REUTERS/Lucas Jackson

People found to be smoking in no-smoking areas on planes and trains will also be punished.

Source: Chinese government notice

The social credit system has started punishing and rewarding millions of citizens already — and some of them claim their fear of getting low credit scores has made them "better" citizens already.

Tiananmen square security surveillance cameras China
Security cameras looking over Tiananmen Square.
Ed Jones/AFP/Getty Images

Chen, a 32-year-old entrepreneur in Rongcheng city who has trialled the scheme, told Foreign Policy:

"When we drive, now we always stop in front of crosswalks. If you don't stop, you will lose your points.

"At first, we just worried about losing points, but now we got used to it."

Mu Linming, a 62-year-old resident of Daxunjiangjia village who has also trialled the scheme, added:

"Life in our village has always been good. After introducing the system, it’s gotten even better.

"We are all good, and we can all encourage bad people to be good."

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