In the latest case of alleged official misconduct, photos have leaked online of a possible sex scandal involving a provincial People's Congress deputy.
Li Shanshan , a young woman who claims to be the mistress of Luo Zhiyuan , a deputy of the Henan provincial People's Congress, posted photos of herself and Luo on her microblog, The Beijing News reported on Monday.
Li claimed she and Luo had been having an affair, that he had abandoned his daughter by her and had used connections to illicitly obtain his deputy qualification, the newspaper reported.
There have been increasing numbers of online postings exposing corruption and sex scandals involving officials since the launch of an anti-corruption campaign after Xi Jinping became Communist Party general secretary in November 2012.
One notable example was that of Chongqing district party chief Lei Zhengfu , who in 2012 was fired and then imprisoned for 13 years after a video showing him having sex with a young woman was leaked online.
Li claimed that Luo, who is also a top local entrepreneur and CEO of Henan Zhiyuan Food Group, had left her and refused to pay child support for their daughter. She decided to expose him online, she said, because there was no way she would get an agreement in court .
The photos she posted show the two lying on a bed together, as well as Luo holding an infant that Li identified as their daughter. She also published a screenshot of a mobile text message that appeared to be a warning from Luo.
"I had to go through many connections to win my People's Congress deputy post. If it is ruined, you will know the consequences!" the message allegedly said. It was unclear which connections were being referred to, and whether Luo illegally used them to win his deputy post.
The Beijing News reported that Luo denied that the text message was from him, saying it was Li's way of attempting to blackmail him. He also said he had appointed a lawyer to deal with the child's maintenance.
Staff at the Henan provincial People's Congress said they would investigate the incident.
Li continued to leak photos, including copies of an Industrial and Commerce Bank debit card with more than 27 million yuan (HK$35 million) in savings, which she claimed belonged to Luo. Li is said to be suing Luo for 20 million yuan in child support.
Some internet users questioned the source of the 27 million yuan and asked whether it was made during the period when Luo became the People's Congress deputy.
Some called Li "another anti-corruption woman" and called for more photos to be released.
More expressed sympathy for the child and asked what would happen to her if the deputy were found guilty and the mother convicted of blackmail.
"Blame all of this on the money," one commented.