China is going to restrict people who are given a bad social credit rating when they use trains or flights starting May 1, according to statements from China's National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) on Friday.
The move is expected to help improve the country's social credit system.
The two statements published on NDRC's website elaborate on cases which would garner a bad rating.
One statement says that restrictions on train travel apply to people who've engaged in wrongdoing, as defined by the country's railway corporation or police. Offenders could be barred from riding trains for up to a year. So far, the statement enumerates several cases that could be considered a disruption of railway transit, including smoking on trains, using expired tickets and scalping tickets.
Scalpers are often found near railways stations ahead of public holidays, though police and railway authorities have beefed up passenger verification, such as having them use real names for purchasing tickets online and off. The new requirement adds to existing punishment, which stipulates that people who illegally sell train tickets will be banned from purchasing or booking train tickets for 180 days.
For flight restrictions, the development and reform authority will get negative marks and be forbidden from flying for a year if they are found inventing and spreading false information; causing disruptions during check-ins, security checks and boarding; posing threats to flight safety; or smoking.
The country's Supreme People's Court, Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security, and Administration of Taxation and Securities Regulatory Commission also helped build the social credit system by sharing information with civil aviation and railway authorities. Consequently, those who have earned a demerit in other fields, like those who fail to pay fines or who fail to pay certain debts, may also face these restrictions.
According to the statements, the measures are based on guidance from the State Council for improving the social credit system, which was first implemented in 2016. Those who have any questions can ask for a review or appeal to the courts.