Travelers who smoke on bullet trains or the no-smoking areas on ordinary trains could be banned from train travel for 180 days, according to new guidelines issued by China's government.
Under the plans jointly issued by the National Development and Reform Commission, Supreme People's Court, and other government departments, people who endanger railway safety, evade train fares, produce or sell fake train tickets, will also be banned from purchasing train tickets for up to 180 days starting May 1.
New rules will also apply to credit defaulters, people found to have engaged in embezzlement or taxation illegal practices, and people who have defaulted on loans to international financial institutions, will be also placed on a travel blacklist for one year. People on the blacklist will be unable to buy plane tickets, or upper class train tickets.
The moves are part of the country's ongoing efforts to build a social credit system.
The development of China's social credit system started in 2014. The system has a national online credit information platform where people with poor social credit, like defaulting debtors, are blacklisted.
China's government has vowed to improve its credit blacklisting mechanism to ensure credit records are updated in a timely manner and disputes are well handled to avoid punishing people who had paid back their debts, said Zhang Yong, deputy head of the National Development and Reform Commission at a press conference earlier this month.