In July, the Chinese communist regime denied more than 2.5 million citizens the possibility of buying plane tickets, announced the Global Times, owned by the official newspaper of the Chinese Communist Party, the People’s Daily.

In the announcement on social networks, the regime also boasted that another 90,000 will not be able to travel by high-speed train.

These bans were suffered by citizens—called “discredited entities” by the Chinese government—who lost points in the controversial “social credit system” that the communist regime seeks to implement by 2020, in an attempt to engineer citizen behavior, according to

A Chinese citizen can lose points on his or her “good citizenship card” for criticizing the government, visiting unauthorized websites, or maintaining contact with a friend who has a low score, which can lead to a series of measures such as restricting access to the Internet or prohibiting their children from studying in first-level schools.

During the 2018 tests, Chinese courts banned “blacklisted” citizens for from buying flights 17.5 million times, and from traveling by train 5.5 million times, according to data from the National Public Credit Information Center as quoted by The Guardian in March of this year.

Rewarding the ‘trustworthy’ and punishing the ‘discredited’

According to a 2014 document from the Chinese regime, the objective of the much questioned system is “allow the trustworthy to roam everywhere under heaven while making it hard for the discredited to take a single step,” the Guardian said at the time.

However, experts fear that the “good citizen card” will be used to subdue citizens and turn them into submissive pawns for fear of retaliation.

In this context, journalist Liu Hu, who writes articles exposing censorship and corruption in China, announced that he has already been arrested and fined for his work, according to Wired.

Liu explained that his name was included in a list of “dishonest persons” who are “not qualified” to buy a plane ticket, buy property, or borrow money.

“There was no file, no police warrant, no official advance notification. They just cut me off from the things I was once entitled to,” Liu denounced, according to The Globe and Mail. “What’s really scary is there’s nothing you can do about it. You can report to no one. You are stuck in the middle of nowhere.”

Analysts say that these bans and punishments have only just begun, and will end up covering every aspect of Chinese life.