A typical sanitary pad customer will remain loyal to one brand for several decades, so a company with a strong brand and good distribution has a license to print money. And where there is money in China, there are pirates. Southern Metropolis Daily 南方都市报 last week reported that counterfeit sanitary pads worth over 150 million yuan were seized by police in a port city famous for its smugglers: Quanzhou in Fujian province. Read more
Posts from the ‘Crime and corruption’ Category
The city of Shenyang is getting tough (or tougher) on spitting and other such unhygienic habits. The Shenyang Evening News front page reports today that 200 specialist hygiene supervisors have been appointed, and they will be able to dish out fines of 20 yuan for each person spitting in public, among other such offences and their corresponding fines.
On 8 October 2010, however, an almost identical headline appeared on exactly the same spot on the front page of the selfsame newspaper, announcing that spitting will now incur a fine of 10 yuan, and 100 specialist hygiene supervisors have been appointed to monitor unhygienic behavior and dish out fines for spitting, among other offences.
So we’ll say good luck this time Shenyang, or see you next year for the 3o yuan fine/300 supervisors upgrade.
The city government of Nanyang (南阳), Henan province, is taking corruption and extravagance very seriously. The front page of the Nanyang Evening Post (南阳晚报) today proclaims in a very large headline: “Saying ‘no’ to tip of the tongue waste”. The phrase “on the tip of the tongue” sounds strange when translated directly into English, as I’ve done here, but it essentially refers to the enjoyment of a country’s food and drink culture. Any foreigner’s experience of China inevitably includes savoring the many interesting dishes of Chinese food, which are enjoyed “on the tip of the tongue.” Yet the city government of Nanyang has declared war on the inherent waste and extravagance of “tip of the tongue” enjoyment. As the newspaper explains in a somber fashion today, the disciplinary inspection committee in the city yesterday launched a special new operation to “strictly investigate the use of public funds for eating and drinking”.
And these are not merely empty words, because the newspaper recounts that teams were dispatched to hotels to winkle out those gorging themselves at the public’s behest. To spice things up even more, at the very top of the article, city residents are called upon to denounce any government officials violating the rules by engaging in “eating and drinking big” (大吃大喝). Clearly, Nanyang has put its money where its mouth is. Read more
2012 was the annus horribilis of the “trial by Weibo” of government officials, their public humiliation and ultimate sacking in disgrace. More than ever before, last year witnessed multiple cases where government officials were implicated in sex videos and other corruption scandals that first appeared in full public view on the Chinese Internet and led ultimately to their dismissal. If it wasn’t already before, the public image of government officials of various ranks in China was in crisis in 2012.
In light of this situation, the Crisis Management Research Center at Renmin University (中国人民大学危机管理研究中心) in Beijing earlier in January this year published a report entitled “The Public Image Crisis of Government Officials” (官员形象危机2012报告). As the Yanzhao Evening News (燕赵晚报) from Hebei province today explains in a front page story, the Crisis Management Research Center surveyed 24 cases of corruption that became public knowledge on the Chinese Internet in 2012 so as to divine some trends and patterns in corrupt behavior among government officials in China. Their findings included that 95% of corrupt government officials keep mistresses, and more than 60% of these corrupt officials are openly cohabiting with their mistresses. Yet this is merely the beginning. Read on for what misdeeds the men behind the faces below got up to in 2012, before paying the price brought on by full public knowledge. Ah, the Internet…
Some of China’s most corrupt (and most publicly known) former government officials in 2012
About 20 km outside Beijing, tourists sitting in tour buses from Beijing north-eastwards towards the Badaling section of the Great Wall can spot the apparent remains of a medieval castle some distance from the expressway. Its concrete spires rising above a muddy corn field, the eerie shell remains as a relic of the grandiose ideas of once-powerful men who’ve since passed through the grinding mill of elite politics, corruption and prison in China. All around Beijing, architectural artefacts of previous decades remain, many decayed and going to ruin.
This article is a tour through some of the more spectacular wastelands of contemporary Beijing, places that will surely be developed into something entirely different at some point in the future – when the interest groups that control the land and construction finally make a deal they can live with.
The Legal Daily 法治日报 has published a summary of their ’2012 Mass Incident Research Report’ 2012年群体性事件研究报告, quantifying and analyzing ‘mass incidents’ in China – riots, civil unrest, and protests. The data sources and methodology behind the report are not made explicit in their introduction (which says the full report can be provided if you contact them; Danwei has not yet obtained a copy of the full report).
The summary does not give an absolute number of mass incidents in 2012, and the numbers in the geographical distribution section which seem to indicate, for example, that Guangdong only had eight mass incidents, do not make sense when compared to previous reports by Chinese government organs that talked about 80 to 100,000 mass incidents a year nationwide.
The report highlights Weibo as an increasingly significant factor in mass incidents, and makes recommendations that local authorities take “positive” steps like making official announcements and dealing with the person responsible for the situation, rather than using “negative” methods such as information blackouts, forced dispersals and arrests.
Some key statistic of the report are summarized below: Read more
The Qinghai Legal News (青海法制报) from Qinghai province today published the newspaper’s editorial selection of China’s ten biggest criminal cases of 2012. In a somber tone, the newspaper prefaces its selection with the following summary:
This year, all the many public charges that ensued from criminal investigations gave many people a profound impression, leaving in their minds a lingering mark of the criminal cases involved. In the ten criminal cases listed below, there are some people who will never be able to be reunited with their families; there are some people who got rich quick only to have their fake dream world shattered; there was fraud; and there was the question of the safety of the school bus that is still haunting people’s consciences….. The people involved in these ten criminal cases in 2012 left behind footsteps that echoed loudly and terrifyingly.
The ten biggest criminal cases of 2012 are the following (detailed descriptions follow below):
- “Sticky Rice” Kang (aka Waxy Kang) and the massacre of the Chinese sailors (糯康案)
- The homicide of Bo Gu Kailai and Zhang Xiaojun ((薄谷开来、张晓军故意杀人案)
- Wu Ying’s fund-raising fraud (吴英集资诈骗案)
- The Gansu school bus accident (甘肃正宁校车事故)
- The 488 million yuan Sichuan pyramid scheme (四川4.88亿特大传销案)
- Luoyang sex slaves (洛阳性奴案)
- Liao Dan and the fake treatment form (廖丹“刻章救妻”)
- “Almighty God” cult “全能神”邪教
- Zhou Kehua (周克华案)
- Mayor of Haitang Bay in Sanya causes loss of 700 million yuan (三亚海棠湾原镇长李骥致国家损失7亿)
You don’t know Wang Lijun (王立军). You may have last seen him being charged with various serious crimes committed when he was police chief and Bo Xilai strong man in Chongqing, for which he was ultimately sentenced to 15 years in jail. Yet now you can read about Wang Lijun the man, get to know the guy a little bit better, find out what he was really like in his prime before he fell from grace and blew the lid off the Bo Xilai/Gu Kailai scandal. Turns out that Wang Lijun was just like any other plodding policeman that’s given a bit of power, turning himself into a stern bureaucrat, a pedantic stickler for cleanliness, a faux newspaper editor and professor, a self-obsessed photography enthusiast, and a man completely absorbed in every fine detail of his own image, with a team of photographers (called the Smurfs) and Photoshop handy at all times to make him appear to the world every part of the larger than life man he thought he was.
The Western Sea Metropolis Daily (西海都市报) from Qinghai province today published an expose of the “imperious and domineering” behaviour of Wang when he was still calling the shots (no pun intended) in Chongqing. Based on the revelations of a former secretary of Wang’s called Xin Jianwei (忻建威) as well as others, this expose came to light over the course of this week and was in the last few days published in two other publications as well, namely Southern Weekend (南方周末) and Modern Express (现代快报).
This is the 1510 Digest, a weekly roundup of recent essays and articles published on the Chinese web, with links to translations on the Marco Polo Project.
This week’s digest brings together two recent pieces which, in different ways, show the influence of the Western cannon on Chinese intellectual life. In ‘How to build a good society’, Zhant Tianpan reviews professor Ren Junfeng’s book on civic virtue and civic government, itself based on a reading of Toqueville’s “Democracy in America”. In ‘Love and Justice’, Professor Chen Hongguo proposes a ‘reading list’ of nine key texts for thinking broadly about this topic, a majority of which reflect ‘universal’ European and American experience. Read more
This week’s digest proposes to look back at the London Olympics and the commentaries they received from Chinese intellectuals online – comparisons with Beijing 2008, or broader reflections on the roles of the media, business interests and the State in organised sports.
The front page of today’s Chongqing Shangbao is dedicated to yesterday’s shooting of the serial killer Zhou Kehua. The headline says the “violent criminal Zhou Kehua was killed”, and includes the subheading: “He who shot the guard on March 19 was gunned down himself.” The photo shows policemen collecting evidence near the body of the killer, who is lying dead next to a pool of his own blood. Read more
After the recent floods in Beijing,1510 opened a special section to cover the topic; this week’s digest echoes some of the discussions exchanged on this platform. For more on the Beijing floods you can read this post on danwei.