There were 23 million instances of the Chinese government blocking citizens from purchasing plane or train tickets in 2018, according to a government report obtained by the Associated Press. These people had been marked by the government as “discredited” for behavioral crimes, without specifying which crimes might bar someone from such a credit deduction. AP says some areas of China will issue social credit demerits for “offences as minor as walking a dog without a leash.”
The program’s slogan “Once you lose trust, you will face restrictions everywhere” is some shit even George Orwell couldn’t have dreamed up. Social credit has been in place since 2014, and by next year the Chinese ruling party says it wants a nationwide system in place with a file for each person. The system is a one part of a larger initiative to tighten control of the country’s 1.35 billion citizens, roughly 1/5th of the world’s population.
Of the 23 million blocked ticket sales, 17.5 million were for air travel, while 5.5 million train tickets were denied to would-be travelers. Further, 128 people were blocked from leaving China at all, due to unpaid taxes. Unpaid taxes and related fines are believed to be among the biggest reasons for the government revoking social credit from individuals.
By comparison, *only* 6.15 million transportation ticket sales were disallowed in 2017, which indicates to me that this program is aggressively ramping up.