In debt? Don’t get on train


Top politics and current affairs news for February 16, 2017. Part of the daily SupChina news roundup "Female assassins kill North Korean leader’s half brother en route to China."

  • China penalizes 6.7 million debtors with travel ban / Financial Times (paywall)
    The Supreme People’s Court of China released records yesterday showing that nearly 7 million people have been banned from purchasing airline tickets or boarding high-speed trains because they are in debt. A host of other misdeeds, including lying in court and hiding financial assets, can now land a Chinese citizen negative “social credit.” The system has been developed experimentally for some time (see an Economist article from last December, and a Tech in Asia article from last November), but the number of people on the blacklist and the government’s use of the list has been expanding gradually for over a year. For more on big data and its applications in China, see “Cashing in on dystopia,” a SupChina feature by David Bandurski.