Five sexual misconduct cases have been roiling Chinese social media in the last week. Here’s a summary of four of them:
- On May 1, Shandong police issued a statement (in Chinese) announcing the arrest of a high-school teacher accused of blackmailing his students into sex in exchange for good grades.
- Lǐ Xiànfēng 李献丰, a 46-year-old senior official in Langzhong, Sichuan Province, is under investigation (in Chinese) over allegations that he paid for sex with an underage girl kidnapped by a human trafficking group.
- Earlier this week, more than 40 women who attended a primary school in Fuzhou over 20 years ago came forward with sexual misconduct allegations against their former teacher. Fuzhou’s education authorities have launched an investigation (in Chinese) into the claims.
- Police in Mianyang, Sichuan Province, released a statement (in Chinese) on May 1 saying that they had arrested the teacher who was accused of sexual misconduct by over 80 students in the past decade.
There has not been much further reporting on any of these cases, but there have been new developments in the fifth case, which has been the subject of public interest for at least two weeks:
It’s been more than two weeks since police in Yantai, Shandong Province, reopened their investigation into Bào Yùmíng 鲍毓明, a former high-ranking executive working for the Chinese telecom firm ZTE, who has been accused of repeatedly sexually assaulting his foster daughter since she was 14.
Since the alleged victim, identified by the pseudonym Xīngxīng 星星, came forward with her allegations, she has received an outpouring of public support from people on Chinese social media, with many calling for Bao to be held legally accountable.
Despite the public attention to the case, the investigation seems to have hit a wall. There has been no official update issued by the police. Meanwhile, Bao has been trying to defend his reputation on social media. Today, he created a Weibo account where he posted 10 questions and answers in which he denies the allegations levied against him. “You can lie, but there’s truth in chat histories, police records, and photos,” Bao wrote (in Chinese). In the first message posted to Weibo, Bao also sent an indirect message to Xingxing, writing, “You can fool all the people some of the time. You can fool some people all of the time. But you can’t fool all the people all of the time.”
However, Bao’s social media postings have done nothing but further damage his reputation. Nonetheless, a number of internet users have raised concerns that the attention to the case would eventually die down if no legal action was taken. “It’s obvious that he’s trying to polarize the public and get some people on his side. Let’s not fall prey to his tricks. We need the police to release investigation results!” an angry Weibo user commented.