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Public now keeps eye on officials via Internet

(Xinhua)

09:29, October 23, 2012

A DEPUTY provincial governor in central China has met fierce criticism from netizens after pictures of him walking on a red carpet during a construction site inspection were posted on the Internet.

The idea of a high-ranking official behaving like a pop star, complete with expensive clothing and a large entourage, upset many Internet users.

The official would not have been embarrassed if the pictures hadn't been published, of course. But evading public scrutiny has become more and more difficult with the increasing popularity of the Internet.

In 2009, Zhou Jiugeng, a former real estate management official in east China's city of Nanjing, was sentenced to 11 years in jail for bribery following an investigation that was triggered by photos published online showing him smoking cigarettes valued at 150 yuan (US$23.8) a pack.

Last month, Yang Dacai, a senior work safety official in north China's Shaanxi Province, was sacked due to a corruption scandal exposed after photos online showing him wearing 11 expensive wristwatches on different occasions.

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