Rewards and punishments

Local governments and government officials can get blacklisted, named, shamed, and investigated just like everyone else. Sixth Tone profiled one such incident in back in 2017: 1

Two alleged court documents circulating online claim that a county government in eastern China has been blacklisted as “dishonest” because it owes a company more than 300 million yuan ($43.5 million) in unpaid debts.

… [One] document, dated March 21, is allegedly a court’s decision to add the Fengxin County government to a list of “dishonest” debtors — which means that the county head and other high-level government officials will face restrictions when they book star-rated hotels or trips by train or plane.

And that wasn’t an isolated occasion: 2 3

According to Sixth Tone’s sister publication, The Paper, more than 20 county-level governments have been blacklisted as “dishonest” for various reasons, including refusing to pay compensations and defaulting on construction projects.

Other penalties, as laid out in various policy documents, are equally similar to the penalties applied to businesses and individual citizens:

“When dishonest acts are committed by the government at any level, the incident shall be explained in writing, and quickly rectified according to the amount of financial loss and damage caused. The involved government departments may also be barred from receiving awards and honors, and required to provide public (self-)criticism. The principal person responsible for the act of government dishonesty shall be investigated in accordance with the law.” 4

Breaches of trust by the government or its personnel will be publicized on the regional credit website. 5

Officials with a record of dishonesty will not be considered for promotion. 6



  1. County Government on Legal Naughty List for Unpaid Debts
  2. 县政府上失信“黑名单”:法治面前没有特权
  3. 县政府被纳入失信“黑名单”,对当地带来哪些影响?
  4. 国务院关于加强政务诚信建设的指导意见
  5. 国务院关于加强政务诚信建设的指导意见
  6. 银川市加强政务诚信建设持续优化营商环境