Meet the Woman Making Life Difficult for Corrupt Chinese Officials

Illustration for article titled Meet the Woman Making Life Difficult for Corrupt Chinese Officials

Somewhere on the West Coast, a producer just dropped his iPad, grabbed his cell phone and started yelling at his assistant to get HBO on the phone because he's found the next big television hit: It's about a Chinese woman who makes sure first wives get their due.


The Washington Post reports on Zhang Yufen, whose husband cleaned out their accounts and disappeared to live with his mistress. She decided to track him down and make him do right. "There is no protection for wronged wives," she told the Post. "In most cases they are left with no money, no house and no guarantees." So she took what she learned and started helping other women as a kind of private investigator with a very specific mandate:

Her methods are low-tech, labor-intensive and painstaking: While speaking, she showed off two hand-held tape recorders, two pairs of binoculars, a cheap camera and a notebook. She talks of hiding behind trees and electricity poles, of long stakeouts and of following her quarry in taxis and on foot.

Her specialty is corrupt government officials, of which there are many in China. (She waxed nostalgic to the Post: "Back in Mao's time, we never used to lock our doors, and civil servants would serve the people.") Unfortunately, Zhang has even more trouble when she uncovers evidence and tries to act on it:

But Zhang says her efforts to expose official corruption often run into brick walls. One court mysteriously "lost" the evidence she had presented, while another, she alleges, warned the husband, who had time to empty a bank account of savings well beyond his earnings. Sometimes she presents evidence of corruption to an official's boss, and the boss won't want to listen, probably because he is corrupt himself, she says.

10/10 would watch over True Detective.

Image via Film Forum.



My dear, sweet brother Numsie!

Didn't they already do a movie sorta like that?