The Mistress-Industrial Complex
Among the many notable features of the latest grainy sex tape circulating on the Chinese Internet — a video of former Chongqing official Lei Zhengfu atop his then-18-year-old mistress in 2007 — perhaps the most intriguing is the angle from which it was shot. Someone placed a rudimentary video camera, or perhaps a camera phone, on a low dresser adjacent to a hotel bed and pointed it upwards. The pale slender woman is barely visible, but Lei’s face, grunting in the throes of pleasure, is in full view.
As the amateur porn made waves online after it surfaced on Nov. 20, Chongqing’s Commission for Discipline Inspection, the organ responsible for dealing with corruption and wrongdoing among party members, determined that the man in the video was indeed Lei. (He initially denied it, claiming Photoshop mischief.) Removed him from his post as district party secretary on Nov. 23, Lei is now being investigated for party discipline infractions and graft, in the second-raciest scandal to erupt in Chongqing this year, after the March fall of the municipality’s former party boss Bo Xilai.
Conjugal entanglements of power, politics, money, and men, usually involving multiple sex partners, are hardly new in China, but how this video came to light was novel: Zhu Ruifeng, a 31-year-old former investigative journalist at the respected Guangzhou province newspaper Southern Metropolis Daily, who now runs an anti-corruption website called “People’s Supervision” in Beijing, posted the footage online in mid November. He represents a new trend: watchdogs who both understand that the Communist Party has a severe mistress problem, and realize that the problem can be used as weapon in the fight against corruption.