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Chinese passengers riding the Beijing subway are facing new restrictions on trains that went into effect on Wednesday. File Photo by Stephen Shaver/UPI | License Photo
May 16 (UPI) — The city of Beijing is using its system of social credit to police the public behavior of citizens riding the city’s subway.

Chinese passengers who eat on trains when asked to stop, hawk goods to other passengers in transit, or even listen to loud music could receive negative ratings, Xinhua and the Global Times reported.

Such acts are being categorized as “uncivilized behavior,” according to reports. The penalties went into effect on Wednesday and target minor infractions, including occupying more than one seat on the train. The ban also targets people who use folding bikes and scooters in the subway, smokers of electronic cigarettes and people who “misuse” subway escalators.

Train supervisors can deny rides to passengers who do not comply with the new rules, or report them to public safety authorities. Reports affect the individual’s personal or social credit score and could impact his or her mobility.

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People with bad credit scores are not only prohibited from taking out bank loans, their access to airplanes and high-speed trains could also be limited, according to reports.

Passengers can volunteer for the subway to “recover” their credit score, and can appeal decisions within 15 days.

Zhu Lijia, an Academy of Governance professor of public management, said the new penalties could have a “warning effect” on passengers.

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“Many of the uncivilized acts pertaining to the subway are not a violation of law, but if it affects social credit scores, it will have a warning effect,” Zhu told the Global Times.

Passengers in Chinese cities are already under surveillance.

In the city of Jinan, Shandong province, subway riders can enter stations by smiling at a screen, People’s Daily reported in early May.

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Facial recognition machines identify passengers and show their “purchase records,” according to the report.

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