China's top 10 scandals in 2013

Updated: 2013-12-23 19:18


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It takes years, even decades, to build a reputation but in an age of instant communication it takes just seconds to destroy it.

The last year has been no exception and the public has seen reputations tarnished, in a range of sectors, including media, judicial officials and education, with the speed of a mouse click.

No 1: Big Vs (Influential micro-bloggers)

China's top 10 scandals in 2013

Xue Biqun, a Chinese-American investor who called himself Xue Manzi on Sina Weibo, was detained in August on suspicion of patronizing prostitutes. Xue had 12 million followers on his micro blog account, and he used to help shape public opinion with his sharp online criticism regarding headline-making incidents.


Beijing police capture 27 for prostitution

Suspect taken into custody for online rumors

'Like an online king' - celebrity blogger Xue's story


No 2: Medical workers

On Oct 14, the Tianjin government said that Dumex China paid 116 workers in 85 local hospitals to promote their infant formula by handing out pamphlets and giving lectures to parents.

The government said it has confiscated the money and 13 medical workers were punished. Dumex, a French company that makes nutritional products for infants and children, apologized later for the incident.


Infant formula bribery

Survey: 67% don't trust doctor

Better treatment for hospital violence


No 3: Judicial officials

China's top 10 scandals in 2013

In early August, Shanghai's top court suspended four judicial officials on allegations of patronizing prostitutes. The scandal came to light after an online video showed a group of court officials walking arm-in-arm with female karaoke partners at a resort hotel on June 9.

The Shanghai anti-graft agency said on its micro blog that the four officials included Chen Xueming, chief judge of the No 1 Civil Tribunal at the Shanghai High People's Court, and Zhao Minghua, deputy chief judge of the high court's No 1 Civil Tribunal.


Shanghai judges sacked over prostitution scandal

Judges prostitution scandal tars judicial image


No 4: Headmasters

In May, a primary school headmaster and a civil servant in Wanning, Hainan province, were taken into police custody for allegedly sexually assaulting six female students.

In June, Yang Qifa, a 59-year-old headmaster of a primary school was sentenced to 18 years in jail for raping and molesting girls in Qianshan county in Anhui province.

A middle-school teacher in Hefeng county, Hubei province, was detained in September for allegedly having sex with at least eight female students, and one of the students got pregnant.


Headmaster held over assault on girls

Teacher detained for molesting school girls


No 5: Chengguan (Urban management)

On May 31, seven chengguan were involved in a violent altercation with three bicycle store salesmen in Yan'an, Shaanxi province. Footage circulated on the Internet showed that a burly uniformed chengguan officer stamped on the head of a salesman on the ground.

The video triggered a public outcry, and on June 4 the Yan'an city government announced that it had suspended four officials and four employees involved in the incident.


Chengguan burdened by reputation

Law enforcers in dispute


No 6: Academics

China's top 10 scandals in 2013

In September, Zhang Shuguang, former deputy chief engineer of the then Ministry of Railways, confessed during his trial that he spent 23 million yuan ($3.7 million) on buying votes to try and gain membership of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS).

The CAS responded on Sept 11, saying that it had not received any complaint about fraud in an honorary academic election involving a former railway official.


Former China rail chief admits graft

CAS corruption claims


No 7: Temporary workers

In its edition of June 17, China Newsweek magazine published a cover story "More trouble for temporary workers", criticizing "arrogance and prejudice of public power" after temporary workers repeatedly became the scapegoat in a number of government scandals.

A survey by the Beijing Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, the nation's top advisory body, showed that the capital's chengguan office had 7,000 civil servants and 6,500 temporary workers in 2011.


Blaming temporary workers?

'More trouble by temporary workers'


No 8: Journalists

In late October, Chen Yongzhou, a reporter for New Express, confessed that he accepted bribes to defame the State-owned construction equipment maker Zoomlion. The reports resulted in the company's share price dropping and public accusations against its management.

New Express apologized for the stories, vowing to strengthen management of its employees and publication procedure.


Paper apologizes for reporter's untrue stories

Newspaper offers apology after detained journalist's confession


No 9: "Expert opinions"

Experts, or Zhuangjia in Mandarin, are often unflatteringly referred to by netizens as "bricks" (zhuan has a similar pronunciation) since they have been known to utter some controversial statements.

One prime example concerns Dong Fan, director of the Real Estate Research Center with Beijing Normal University, He triggered an online outcry in September when he said that property prices in Beijing were not high, and could reach 800,000 yuan per square meter in about 25 years.


Polarized home price predictions confuse prospective buyers

Home prices in Chinese cities to continue rising


China's top 10 scandals in 2013

 No 10: Movie director

 Zhang Yimou, a renowned movie director, made headlines in November for violating the law that limits most urban couples to one child.

 Zhang said in an open letter on Dec 1 that he, and his wife, Chen Ting, have two sons and a daughter and they are willing to receive punishment in line with the law and regulations. He apologized to the public.


 China to grill Zhang Yimou's agent

Zhang Yimou kids investigation to grill agent