Aerial footage of a large home owned by the family of former security tsar Zhou Yongkang in Jiangsu province has offered a glimpse of their wealth, as the Communist Party continues to investigate Zhou for corruption.
The two-minute video, taken by a camera attached to a small drone helicopter, was uploaded on Monday night by internet giant Tencent's web portal, Qq.com .
Watch: Zhong Yongkang's family house in Wuxi, China
It identified the sprawling home as being owned by Zhou's son, Beijing-based businessman Zhou Bin, 42. It showed a gated two-storey home with high white walls and surrounded by a classical Chinese garden. It is located in the village of Xiqiantou - 71-year-old Zhou Yongkang's ancestral village.
The home has a black tiled roof and architecture of a style seen south of the Yangtze River.
According to an article posted with the video, Zhou's two younger brothers used to live there. It was constructed in 2010 on the site of Zhou's childhood home, which was torn down to make way for the new structure, Caixin Media said.
Earlier, an investigative report by the Shanghai-based Oriental Morning Post cited residents as saying that they used to see officials and businessmen visiting the building, but that the stream of visitors had recently dried up. They said surveillance cameras had also been installed around the home.
The Oriental Morning Post's report said villagers last saw Zhou in person last April. He told them: "This might be the last time I visit you."
The report, which led with a photo of the home, went viral on mobile-phone messaging platform WeChat but was quickly censored on the mainland.
Zhou Bin has been formally detained since December, facing possible bribery allegations, and is allegedly involved in illegal dealings in Sichuan province and the oil industry, both of which his father had built up as powerbases.
This week, Lu Xinhua, a spokesman for the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, stressed that "anyone who violates the party's discipline and the state law will be seriously investigated and punished". He was responding to a question by the South China Morning Post on whether Zhou was being investigated. The comments were the first public official comment on Zhou and were the strongest hint yet that Beijing is about to formally announce the investigation.