Chinese citizens who conceal any coronavirus history are being punished using the country's dystopian social credit system

Shanghai police
A police officer wearing a protective mask checks identity cards at a subway station in Shanghai, China January 23, 2020.


  • China's social credit system is being used to punish people who conceal coronavirus symptoms.

  • Beijing authorities announced on Monday that people caught entering the city and failing to disclose any history of coronavirus will have their social credit scores penalized.

  • Shanghai announced similar measures in February.

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Increasingly it looks like Chinese citizens who are caught concealing coronavirus symptoms will be penalised using the country's social credit system.

According to Chinese tech news site Abacus, Beijing authorities announced that citizens entering the city from overseas who don't disclose symptoms or relevant medical history pertaining to coronavirus will have their social credit score docked.

The proclamation comes after a woman reportedly returned to Beijing from the US after developing a fever and cough, and subsequently tested positive for the virus. Beijing police said Monday that the woman is under investigation and could be charged for impairing the prevention and control of infectious diseases.

Shanghai brought in a similar policy in February for anyone concealing travel to coronavirus-impacted areas, or who'd had contact with confirmed or suspected coronavirus patients.

The way China's social credit system works at the moment is piecemeal, with local authorities enforcing their own rules. First announced in 2014, the social credit system is used to both reward and punish citizens. People with low credit scores can be placed on public blacklists, banned from booking train and train tickets, and barred from buying property.

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