Imagine calling a friend. Only instead of hearing a ring tone you hear a police siren, and then a voice intoning, “Be careful in your dealings with this person.”
Would that put a damper on your relationship? It’s supposed to. Welcome to life in China’s “Social Credit System,” where a low score can ruin your life in more ways than one.
Say you arrive at the Beijing airport, intending to catch a flight to Canton 1,200 miles south. The clerk at the ticket counter turns you away because — you guessed it — your social credit score is too low.
Not only are you publicly humiliated in the ticket line, you are then forced to travel by slow train. What should have been a three-hour flight becomes a 30-hour, stop-and-go nightmare.