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Published On: Thu, Mar 28th, 2019

Communist China goes more ‘Black Mirror’ by blocking ‘deadbeats’ from travel, shames them with ringtone

13 million Chinese citizens have been deemed “deadbeats” by their Communist ruling party, essentially blacklisting them with their mysterious national database, curated by China’s Supreme Court.

According to the South China Morning Post, those 13 million people are banned from traveling on airplanes or high-speed trains, meaning they are sometimes forced to take cross-country expeditions in cramped and crowded slow trains that can take days.

Some individuals have also reportedly had a special ringtone applied to their phones to shame them in front of their family and friends, according to the report.

“It’s even worse than doing time because at least there’s a limit to a prison sentence,” David Kong said in a phone interview to the outlet. “Being on the list means that as long as you can’t clear your debts in full, your name will always be there.”

His business associates had found out about his status not from the database but from picking him up at the railway station. Kong now fears being “shunned,” further hindering his recovery and escape from the “deadbeat” label.

The list of “discredited individuals” was introduced in 2013, months before the State Council unveiled a plan in 2014 to build a social credit system by 2020, and is in line with the plan’s goal of influencing people into behaving by penalising bad behaviour and rewarding for good deeds.

For Kong, his slide into official “untrustworthiness” happened in 2015, three years after his book publishing venture failed. He had borrowed 1.6 million yuan (US$238,000) and said he had no means to pay it back.

An episode of Black Mirror incorporated the public evaluation and rankings which impacted an individuals ability to get premium housing or transportation.

Chinese flag, Beijing, China. 2009 Photo/Daderot

About the Author

- Writer and Co-Founder of The Global Dispatch, Brandon has been covering news, offering commentary for years, beginning professionally in 2003 on Crazed Fanboy before expanding into other blogs and sites. Appearing on several radio shows, Brandon has hosted Dispatch Radio, written his first novel (The Rise of the Templar) and completed the three years Global University program in Ministerial Studies to be a pastor. To Contact Brandon email [email protected] ATTN: BRANDON

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