News & Opinion | April 30, 2019 11:38 am

Manspreading in China Could Hurt Your Social Credit

Close those legs!

Passengers on the Beijing subway
Passengers on the Beijing subway. (Simon Song/ South China Morning Post/ Getty)
South China Morning Post via Get

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Manspreading — the act of widening your legs while sitting in a public place to the point that others are made uncomfortable or even unable to sit at all — will soon come with consequences more severe than the side eye of fellow subway riders in Beijing.

The Beijing Municipal Commission of Transportation has proposed a system of social credit that would be negatively affected by such acts of inconsideration, the South China Morning Post reported. Anyone who widens his, or her, legs on the subway and takes up multiple seats will be categorized as “uncivilized” — as will anyone who eats on the trains, tries to sell things or hops the turnstile.

A nation-wide version of this social currency is expected to be rolled out across China in 2020, the Post reported, and will either punish or reward citizens based on their financial, legal and social transactions; which includes their online personas education records and employment histories.

A few scattered villages and cities across the country have adopted a version of this form of credit, effectively creating a national blacklist of social debtors. People on this list — some 23 million — cannot travel on planes, go on vacation or send their children to private school.