Sunday, 21 June 2015

An App to Crackdown on Corruption

The public can now use a new app to crack down on corrupt officials in China
It's getting harder for Chinese officials to get away with robbing from taxpayer coffers and spending it on themselves.

The Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI) has just launched a smartphone app that allows the public to anonymously upload pictures and videos they take of officials who may be misusing public funds or government vehicles, or breaking Communist Party rules on lavish entertainment.

Not only is it a way for the public to help the CCDI root out bad elements from the Party, but also perhaps instill some confidence in the people that the government is trying to tackle the problem.

CCDI says the public can anonymously upload text (432 characters), pictures and videos (up to 5MB) that denounce what the Communist Party says are "the four decadent tendencies" that include "hedonism and extravagance".

Wang Qishan (centre) heads the CCDI to root out corruption
Violations that could possibly be lavish spending on entertainment, expensive holidays in China or abroad, handing out funds or gifts that violate Party rules, extravagant wedding banquets, parties or funerals.

According to the Communist Party, some 100,000 people have been punished for disciplinary violations in the past two years, though many received minor disciplinary punishments to avoid going to court.

While some members of the public thing the app is a fantastic idea, even praising anti-corruption czar Wang Qishan as a "great man", others are cynical and wonder if the CCDI has enough manpower to catch all the corrupt officials on the app. Others pondered online if these officials would really be brought to justice, or that others may take revenge through the app...

Nevertheless, it will be much harder for officials to think themselves different from the rest of the people.

In China these days, appearances really are everything.

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