BEIJING (AP) — Forgot to pay a fine in China? Then forget about buying an airline ticket.
Would-be air travelers were blocked from buying tickets 17.5 million times last year under a controversial “social credit” system the ruling Communist Party says will improve public behavior.
Some 5.5 million people were barred from buying train tickets, according to the National Public Credit Information Center. In an annual report, it said 128 people were blocked from leaving China because they were behind on their taxes.
The ruling party says penalties and rewards under “social credit” will improve order in a fast-changing society. Three decades of economic reform have shaken up social structures. Markets are rife with counterfeit goods and fraud.