China is taking a big step toward expanding a controversial program that judges and punishes individuals based on their social behavior.
The government describes (in Chinese) the program, which has been piloted in Hangzhou, a 9.5 million-person city in eastern China, as a “personal integrity” project. Authorities said it will be rolled out next in Beijing, allowing the Chinese Communist Party to more closely monitor the 22 million citizens in the capital based on their actions and reputations, according to Bloomberg.
The way it works is relatively straightforward. People who follow the government’s rules and exhibit pro-social behaviors, such as donating blood, will earn a good social credit and be rewarded with so-called “green channel” benefits, such as easier access to job applications and gyms. Those who violate laws—including traffic laws—will “pay a heavy price,” according to the government announcement. That can include being blocked from things that include ordering plane and train tickets.