Over the weekend, China's top tourism authority added the names of five tourists to a list published online that attempts to name and shame "uncivilized behavior" by Chinese tourists when they travel abroad. There are now 16 individuals on this list of embarrassing tourists, which was launched by the China National Tourism Administration in January.

Among those added to the list were two women and a man who brawled on a flight from Cambodia to the Chinese city of Chengdu. According to reports in the Chinese media, that incident erupted after a woman reclined her seat too far. The plane was delayed for an hour after the pilot asked officials to remove the squabbling passengers.

Another man named punched a Japanese convenience store clerk after the clerk asked the man's wife to stop opening and eating food items in the store because the couple had not paid for them.

When Beijing announced in January that it planned to publicly shame unruly tourists, Chinese citizens were encouraged to take photos or video of any bad behavior they spotted and pass it on to authorities. Any evidence of bad behavior would then be published online in a bid to embarrass the perpetrators and serve as a warning to others.

The punishment for being on the "uncivilized behavior" list also includes a ban from air travel.

The move was just the latest attempt by the Chinese state to control tourists' behavior at home and abroad. In 2013, China adopted a "tourism law" that required Chinese tourists traveling abroad to respect local customs. The state-run China Central Television also aired a public service video that attempted to educate tourists about acceptable behavior while abroad (the video showed "bad pandas" urinating in public and writing "I was here" on a tree in Sydney, among other acts).

President Xi Jinping has even publicly chided Chinese travelers for their behavior, telling tourists during an official visit to the Maldives last year to "eat less instant noodles" — a response to reports that high-end resorts in the Maldives were removing kettles from their rooms to stop Chinese tourists from cooking instant noodles.

The state's anxiety over tourists' behavior was sparked by high-profile incidents that have gone viral online. In 2013, a Chinese teenager gained infamy online for defacing a 3,500-year-old temple in Egypt, and the following year,  Chinese passengers threw hot water on a flight attendant aboard an AirAsia flight from Thailand (the state newspaper China Daily said the tourists were "behaving like barbarians"). Earlier this year, a video filmed by Duangjai Phichitamphon at an airport in South Korea went viral after she accused Chinese tourists of jumping the line and making the airport bathrooms dirty, earning the Thai model both praise and criticism online.

While studies and polls have named Americans, Britons, French and Canadians the "world's worst tourists" in the past few years, it's likely that the booming numbers of Chinese citizens traveling abroad have helped give their country a bad reputation internationally. The World Bank says 98 million Chinese citizens traveled abroad in 2013, more than any other nationality. A significant number of these people were only recently enabled to travel because of rising economic standards and loosened state regulations. Estimates suggest that the number of Chinese citizens with passports remains in the low single digits.

So far, it is unclear whether the name-and-shame campaign has had a positive effect – just a few weeks ago, a Chinese passenger on a flight from Shanghai to New York had to be removed from the plane after he repeatedly tried to sneak into first class to claim a free seat.

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