China: Commissioner scrutinized by netizen detectives

Zhou-jiugeng, Commissioner of Nanjing Housing Administration Bureau, is now a celebrity on the internet.

He first led a campaign against the price cut of real estate developers, which tried to break even by attractive discounts during a frustrating economic environment. In years, the price of Chinese real estate has been criticized as overly high, with complaints that the hope to buy affordable houses can never come true. However, due to the recent dismay performance of market, two developers in Nanjing, Van-ke and Heng-da, can no longer hold out and so lowered down their newly developed estates. One of Van-ko's properties, sold at about $1000/sq.m, is relatively 50% lower than the neighboring housing.

Except for the house holders bought in shortly before the price cut, most people acclaimed for the action. However, the Nanjing government is more than depressed.

Zhou-jiugeng decided to fight back. He pointed out that, the price cut is “to put the selling price under the actual cost price so that it means nothing but an unfair competition.” Also, he fears that the lower price would undermine developers’ capital flow so that once their capital chain break up, the many estate projects under construction would become unfinished and therefore a burden of the entire city.

He employed a straightforward way to stop the developers- the Nanjing Administration issued a fine notice to the two developers to warn them away from any further price cut. Upon this, Zhou concluded, “Developers are not charitarians; I fined them not for their actions, but for the consequence of the action. I am doing this for people.” The implication is that a losing proposition will hurt the whole industry and no houses might be built in the future. (U.S auto-maker bail-out?)

But people didn't buy his reasons when hearing that the cut they have been looking forward to for years is now spoiled.

莫之许, a well-known blogger rebuked:


First, there is nothing wrong, neither illegal nor unreasonable, with selling under cost price. All the prices of goods are determined by the judgment of consumers rather than the cost of making them.

He further points out why the government is trying to defend the high price.


We all know that the revenue from land-selling make a great part of the government income. The land price, consequently, is a critical concern of governments. However in 2008, failed auctions and contract withdrawals have happened all the time, which dramatically affected the income of local governments. The prospect is also not so optimistic. Upon this, the governments, one by one, keep putting forward policies to defend the price.

But the argument on the real motivation of the policy is just the prelude. The focus, as soon as the issue is put upon internet and thought to be ridiculous, shifted to the policy maker, Zhou-Jiugeng.

A post by All-for-public-08 appeared on Tianya, a public online bulletin board. The following pictures were posted:

The picture is from the past news reports excavated by netizens.

The box of cigarettes is the real protagonist that is scrutinized. Netizens found that such a premium luxury is almost unaffordable to common people that one box of the cigarettes costs 150 Yuan, and one package contains 10 such boxes,equal to 1500. This is what a jobless worker can get from government for 3 months.

The brand, named 9-5 Cigarettes, is among the most expensive sold in Nanjing.

The author commented


Commissioner Zhou, confess! Is your monthly income worth the cigarettes?

Netizens are speculating that Zhou must have obtained greatly from the developers. “Take money and speak for the donor” is what Zhou is doing.

yangnan1603 moaned:


Our wonderful officials! You are sucking the blood of us people!

Find-autumn-back 找回秋天 said:


This must be an official of corruption. If not, shoot me dead.

Netizens made a calculation:


Judged from Zhou's yen for cigarettes, two boxes is at least for him, which should be 360 Yuan. Then every month over 10000 should be spent on it. It is absolutely unaffordable for a person who earns only 4000 monthly and 100 thousand every year including bonus.

Moreover, netizen cheyou007 posted his discovery on Kdnet in the article “Commissioner Zhou smokes branded cigarettes, wears branded watches.”

据网友搜索结果,这应该是名表“江诗丹顿”, 一只10万。

According to the search result, the watch is Constantin, worth 10 thousand.

Finally, the most explosive news was exposed, again by netizens, that Commissioner Zhou has a brother, Zhou-jiuzhong (周久忠) who is exactly a real estate developer.


Yesterday, the journalist entered the website of the company Tian-chuang Construction, and found the director Zhu-jiuzhong's personal information, the same as depicted by netizens. After nosing about, I eventually heard from someone who is familiar with Zhou that they are indeed brothers.


Join the conversation

Authors, please log in »


  • All comments are reviewed by a moderator. Do not submit your comment more than once or it may be identified as spam.
  • Please treat others with respect. Comments containing hate speech, obscenity, and personal attacks will not be approved.