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Millions of “Untrustworthy” Chinese Restricted from Air and High-speed Rail Travel

In 2018, China has continued to enhance its social credit score system. The authorities have released 32 Memorandums of Cooperation (MoCs) on disciplinary actions in fields that include social security, intellectual property, research, medical care, and marriage registrations.

Restrictions on plane and train travel appear in almost every MoC. For example, the Memorandum of Cooperation on Joint Disciplinary Actions against Seriously Untrustworthy Enterprises and Personnel in Social Security, jointly issued by 28 authorities, lists 32 types of penalties for nine cases of violations, including refusal to pay social security fees, failure to report social security income truthfully, and social security fraud. Among the disciplinary actions are restrictions on air travel, sleeping carriages with cushioned berths on trains, on second-class on ships, on all seats on the G-series multiple unit (MU) trains (high-speed rail), and on first-class seats on other MU’s.

Beginning in June 2018, on the first working day of each month, the “Credit China” website ( will announce a list of people who are restricted from trains and planes. As more MoC’s have been issued, the number of people restricted from travel by air or by train has been increasing every month. As of September 2018, the cumulative occurrence of restrictions on air ticket purchases has been 14.78 million; on high-speed rail tickets it has been 5.24 million.

Another punishment for being “untrustworthy” is the denial of the qualification for working as a civil servant. In some recently issued joint MoC’s, some new disciplinary measures have begun to appear, such as not being able to buy a house and a restriction on tourist travels. People who owe taxes of more than 100,000 yuan (US$ 14,500) are also blacklisted and subject to restrictions such as no bring allowed to leave the country.

Source: China News Service, December 8, 2018