In unsurprising news, leaked reports of recent Xi Jinping speeches seem to indicate that he isn't a Secret Democrat. My evolving take on the Xi administration is that he does intend to make a fairly serious clearout of the CPC's worst actors while repressing independent individuals and agencies which might generate unwanted momentum from the whole process. The upshot is that you get a cleaner Party and greater control. Datapoint: renewed interest in local private investigators.
China's private detectives inhabit a shadowy, semi-legal world, where political rivals are as likely to hire them to dig up dirt on high-ranking officials as jealous wives.
According to Beijing-based Zhu Ruifeng, who runs the anti-graft website Supervision by the People and has exposed sexual scandals linked to officials in Chongqing, some people also use detectives to expose shady dealings that officials would rather keep quiet.
"Mostly, it's the mistresses or wives of officials, but often it's their political rivals who hire private detectives," Zhu said.
...Zhu said the latest clampdown on private eyes was likely linked to their role in exposing official corruption, rather than to any concern for the privacy of individuals.
Zhu, the man who kicked the whole recent expose off with his release of the Lei Zhengfu sex tape, spent a good dealm of Monday at a police station in Chongqing, where he was put under pressure to hand over other videos in his possession. So far as I'm aware, he hasn't been charged with anything yet.
Both links via.