A Chinese city has publicly shamed residents who they claim were wearing pyjamas in public, releasing their personal details on social media and calling them "uncivilised actors".

Government officials from the city of Suzhou, west of Shanghai, released images of the members of the public, identifying them as "travelling in pyjamas" and calling their behaviour inappropriate. The people were photographed in shopping centres, and images showing a card with their personal information, including a head shot, was shared to WeChat, a social media platform popular in China.

The city claimed they'd previously banned members of the public from wearing pyjamas in public, as well as outlawing other "bad behaviour" including laying on public benches and handing out flyers, according to the BBC.

The public shaming angered many online, who said the residents hadn't done anything wrong by wearing their pyjamas in public. Others said those who had their details shared had their privacy infringed on by the government.

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Officials from the city of Suzhou later apologised for the images, saying they would blur the photos in the future.

"We wanted to put an end to uncivilised behaviour, but of course we should protect residents' privacy," officials said in a statement.

In August last year the Suzhou City Administration Bureau posted an announcement on WeChat, asking members of the public to submit photos showing uncivilised behaviour, according to The Paper.

The request from the city said officials were seeking photos clear photos that showed people's faces, in the interest of improving the city.

The city offered a cash reward for the photos of 10 Chinese Yuan, or about $2.12.