China’s Communist Party officials need to be very careful about the watches they wear in public, according to the nation’s finest anti-corruption force – netizens.
Yuan Zhanting, the mayor of Lanzhou, the capital of less affluent Gansu province, has been named by netizens as the country’s new “Watch Brother”. Yuan has been seen wearing luxury watches worth more than 200,000 yuan (HK$24,8960 ), items high above his pay grade as a civil servant.
According to blogger Zhou Lubao, who first wrote about Yuan’s watches on China’s micro-blogging service Weibo , provincial officials were already investigating corruption allegations against Yuan.
Zhou said he started collecting photos of Yuan wearing luxury watches three months ago.
Photos Zhou has collected show Yuan wearing watches including a diamond-studded Omega, a Vacheron Constantin, a Rolex and a Rado.
Zhou said he initially didn’t think the number of watches was significant enough. But after reading the story of a Lanzhou mother who was sent to a labour camp after visiting her son in Beijing, he was angered by the local officials and decided to publish his discoveries online.
Zhou demanded that an official investigation be launched against Yuan and his family members.
Several high-level officials in China have been caught this year by netizens who claim the officials own assets they could not possibly afford . Many of the corruption allegations against them first emerged on weibo.
Many netizens have commented that weibo has proven to be much more powerful and effective than the party’s Central Commission for Discipline Inspection when it comes to combating corruption.