Former mistresses are active online whistle-blowers

Updated: 2013-10-17 07:23

By Xinhua (China Daily)

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Some 15.4 percent of a sample of China's recent online whistle-blowers were mistresses who used the Internet to expose corrupt officials after their relationships ended, a new report on the country's online anti-corruption efforts has found.

Other informants included businessmen, journalists, fellow officials and Internet users, with merchants accounting for the largest share of 26.9 percent, said the report, carried out by the Center for Public Opinion Monitoring under the Legal Daily.

The report, published on Legal Daily's website in September, is based on analysis of 26 typical cases of online real-name reporting that occurred in China from the start of 2013 until September. They were mostly cases brought to light through popular Chinese social media platforms Sina Weibo and Tianya.

Government officials were the principal target of the accusations in 76.9 percent of the cases, the report said, adding that the ranks of those concerned extended from county up to ministerial level.

It noted the recent cases of Li Chuncheng, former deputy Party chief in Sichuan province, and Liu Tienan, former deputy chief of China's top economic planning body, both of whom were sacked for suspected serious disciplinary violations after high-profile online whistle-blowing.

The report shows that 76.9 percent of the subjects are accused of embezzlement, taking bribes, or other economic problems.

It adds that whistle-blowers have increasingly resorted to erotic photos or tapes featuring corrupt officials, as they believe sex scandals will probably have a sensational effect on the public.

The research shows the authorities have responded to 88.5 percent of the cases as of September, and completed handling 73.1 percent of them.

However, 23.1 percent of the real-name whistle-blowers were either detained or listed as wanted by police on suspicion of rumormongering or "causing trouble", the report said.

It notes the case of Liu Hu, a journalist detained for fabricating rumors after he made online accusations of wrongdoing against a former senior official in Chongqing.

The central government's resolve to fight corruption, and the recent downfall of a series of high-ranking officials, have encouraged the public to expose graft.

Whistle-blowers' use of their real names when giving tip-offs is also believed to be in the interest of whistle-blowers themselves, the report said, adding that constant and close attention from the public helps to prevent retaliation against whistle-blowers.