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Chinese actress who was raised in the US is forbidden from leaving China for having bad 'social credit'

Government ordered her to pay a fee to her boyfriend's ex-girlfriend for allegedly slandering her on social media

VCG/VCG via Getty Images

The government of China has banned a Chinese actress who was raised in the United States from leaving China for having bad social credit on the country's controversial rating system.

Wait ... what happened?

Michelle Ye Xuan, 39, was born in China but was raised in the U.S. since she was 10 years old. She grew up in New York and attended Wellesley College in Massachusetts before pursuing her film career in China.

Chinese officials stopped her on Feb. 24 at Beijing Capital International Airport and refused to let her leave the country.

Her crime? Allegedly slandering her boyfriend's ex-girlfriend on social media. The now-deleted social media posts ran her afoul of China's controversial "social credit" system, which now labels her as being "untrustworthy," according to the Daily Mail.

In addition to forbidding her to leave the country, the Chinese government also ordered her to pay her boyfriend's ex $1,430 and write her an apology. She was also fined $11,920 for her behavior.

While Ye might be one of the the highest profile examples of someone running afoul of the social credit system, she is far from being the only citizen to do so. According to a CBS News report from April 2018, nearly 11 million Chinese citizens were no longer permitted to fly and 4 million were banned from train travel due to having bad credit.

What else?

The credit system officially went into effect on May 1, but it has been been in place behind the scenes for years. The Chinese government plans to expand it to every citizen by 2020.

The Chinese government says that the social credit system is based on the principle that "keeping trust is glorious and breaking trust is disgraceful," and "once untrustworthy, always restricted."

In addition to having their travel restricted, citizens with low scores can be kept from buying real estate, getting certain jobs, staying in some hotels, enrolling their children in good schools, or even having access to high-speed internet.

One last thing…
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