It is public knowledge that China, like many other sovereign countries, has a blacklist as part of its border control system, barring people from entering or even leaving the country. A lack of details about how the system works, such as what infractions cause a person to be placed on the list, has raised concerns that it is growing rapidly and that decisions are subject to political overreach. The US Department of State warned its citizens in January that Chinese authorities have asserted that they have broad authority to prohibit US citizens from leaving China.
Bian Kong, or border control, is now a buzzword in reports about travel restrictions on Chinese tycoons and prominent political dissidents. The debate about the system heated up in July after Chinese magazine Caixin reported that Justin Sun, a 29-year-old billionaire who amassed wealth via a questionable cryptocurrency, was placed on China’s border control list in June 2018 but still somehow managed to leave China and travel to the US in October.