City targets jaywalking with detailed social credit system
Published: Jul 05, 2019 07:19 PM

A traffic police officer in Yuncheng, North China's Shanxi Province asks pedestrians and motorcyclists to stop before the traffic line on Friday. Local police recently launched a campaign to tackle jaywalking. Photo: VCG

A move by East China's Nanjing to include jaywalking in the individual social credit system has sparked controversy, as citizens welcome the measure to restore social order but wonder how far the credit system would go.

Police in Nanjing, East China's Jiangsu Province said those who jaywalk more than five times a year will be categorized as discredited persons starting Monday, the People's Daily reported on its Weibo on Friday. 

The topic gained more than 160 million views on Weibo Friday, with many netizens calling for a standard on what can be included in the social credit system to prevent it from being abused. 

People's Daily said on its Weibo that Nanjing's move will be effective once implemented, but pubic governance should prioritize problem-solving at the root cause rather than strict punishment. 

During the ongoing development of the social credit system, local governments have been suggesting more forms of misconduct to be included in the system.

If car owners fail to pay a parking fee, this might be recorded in the future system, according to the Beijing Municipal Commission of Transport in May. Beijing also released revisions to its code of conduct for subway passengers, proposing that "uncivilized" behavior, including eating on the train, would be added to the individual credit information.

China plans to build a government-led national social credit system by 2020 to assess individuals, companies and government agencies based on credit earned and lost in four areas - administrative affairs, commercial activities, social behavior and the judicial system, according to an outline issued by the State Council.

The National Development and Reform Commission and the People's Bank of China have jointly established a credit score website which has been releasing monthly blacklists of people and companies for their misconduct since June 2018, mainly targeting individuals who smoke on the train or carry restricted items on the airplane.

In June, China's social credit system blocked 524 people from buying train tickets and another 871 from booking flights over poor social credit scores, according to the credit score website A total of 177 people were added to a medical blacklist in June for "severely disturbing the order at medical facilities," and they face limitations, such as being restricted from senior positions at state-owned enterprises. 

People are banned from traveling by train and airplane if they had previously smoked, carried banned articles, forged identities and fabricated terror information, among others.