Internet users set up site to report bribery
The mainland public's lack of confidence in the authorities' inefficient anti-graft system has led internet users to set up their own grass-roots online platforms for reporting bribery.
At least three independent websites that allow people to detail how they have bribed others have been established in less than four days. They appear to have been inspired by mainland media reports that more than 20 officials were sacked by the Indian government in the past year based on clues exposed by the users of an Indian grass-roots website, ipaidabribe.com.
One of the Chinese websites, ibribery.com, says on its front page that nearly 1,800 members have registered since Friday, providing 266 clues about various bribery cases.
Many people putting posts on the websites admit that they have paid bribes to teachers, school principals and doctors in exchange for better treatment of family members in schools or hospitals.
'My daughter was to give birth to her baby recently so I gave the doctor 1,200 yuan (HK$1,440) and hoped that they could take really good care of my daughter and the baby,' one internet user said. 'Did I commit the crime of bribery? But I think many people are doing the same thing in China, aren't they?'
Another user, claiming to be a salesman at a Shanghai-based wine wholesaler, said on the woxinghui liao.com website that an executive with the China branch of a US beer giant had received more than 10 million yuan in bribes between 2003 and last year from different companies.
But few posts on the three sites were related to senior officials and none of the internet users reporting the clues used their real names.
Many mainland internet users welcomed the new method of targeting worsening corruption but also expressed concern that it might prompt the authorities to shut down all grass-roots websites very soon.
Others said that the websites faced a big challenge because they might lack sufficient manpower to check all the clues reported by tens of thousands of internet users.
The Sina Weibo microblogging account of one site, woxinghui le.com, had been deleted by yesterday morning, while the administrator of woxinghuiliao.com admitted that his site had been under attack from unknown hackers since Sunday. 'It seems the site could be either shut down by the authorities or taken down in such an attack,' the administrator said on his account.
China's score on Transparency International's corruption perceptions index, between 0 (highly corrupt) and 10 (very clean)