A prestigious college in Beijing that reportedly tried to bar a student because his father was on a government blacklist is causing huge controversy in China.
According to state media reports, a high school student with the surname Rao in the eastern city of Wenzhou, China, was accepted on the back of his score in China's fiendishly difficult and incredibly competitive national college entrance exam.
But before his family could enjoy Rao's accomplishments, the college notified them that he may not be able to attend because of his father's status on a blacklist — the father owed 200,000 RMB (about $30,000) to a local bank, and had an active court judgment against him. As a result, he ended up on a list of judgment defaulters who were deemed to have the ability to pay what they owed.
Blacklists are a key feature of China's controversial "social credit system" — a set of government programs that set up both incentives and disincentives to encourage people to behave in socially desirable ways. Social credit in today's China involves government programs that collect and analyze data from different parts of people's lives, including their education history, compliance with traffic rules, criminal history, and debt. It has raised serious concerns over individual privacy rights.