After talking to Qi, I decided to go on a bug hunt. Friends of mine are concerned about listening devices, so I picked up a detector for about $35 and went to their office. I turned off office equipment to avoid any undue interference and went to work. In just five minutes, I detected bugs in a lamp, several phones and two fax machines.
And here’s another datapoint in the political economy of mistresses:
"Our profession is seen as a serious concern by China's high-level officials," Wei says through nicotine-stained teeth at a tea house. "Mistresses are what corrupt officials are most afraid of. That's the weakest link in their defense system."
So ernai are not only symbolic of multiply abusive power relations, but also the point at which public and private - vertical and horizontal – surveillance networks intersect. And obviously, it’s a vital interest of the government that horizontal networks don’t start pointing upwards even as their products are harvested by the relevant organs.