Why We Should Expect More Chinese Government Sex Scandals In 2013

Today Chinese press reported that Qi Fang, a local police chief in Xinjiang, was being investigated over his affair with two sisters from a dance troupe. He is also alleged to have used police funds to rent a luxury apartment for the sisters.

For anyone who's been following Chinese news, its a familiar situation. Local politician taken down by details of his private sex life, leaked to a website (in this case iyaxin.com). Qi may have one thing to be thankful for — photos and/or video of his escapades haven't been leaked (yet), as they were in the case of Lei Zhengfu or Wu Hong.

The sudden glut of sex scandals has some wondering what exactly is going on. "[Seems] a concerted propaganda campaign now to publicize internet exposes of officials and their mistress problems…" Bill Bishop of the excellent Sinocism blog/newsletter wrote in a tweet earlier today.

"[Just] a routine to purge the political opponents from the party and state, regular and cliche," a Twitter user using the name of well-known (and deceased) Chinese journalist and anti-corruption campaigner Liu Binyan wrote.

Certainly it's tempting to link the sudden influx of sex scandals to new president Xi Jinping's drive to oust corrupt officials.

But a more likely reason could be simply that the old world of corruption and affairs is being disrupted by mobile phones, social networks and other technology.

 According to official statistics from Guangzhou, Shenzhen and Zhuhai, amongst officials alleged to have taken bribes, nearly 100% of them have at least one mistress.

These people aren't exactly the best with technology either. "China — the world, actually — has produced a generation of older, relatively incompetent, certainly Internet clumsy officials who probably can’t even send an email," Anthony Tao of the popular Beijing Cream blog explains. "These are the folks whose private indiscretions are publicized in the very real realm of the virtual world. Rest assured that more of these people will be ensnared in this wonderful world of the Internet. We eagerly await the next."



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