Date
17 November 2017
Wang Shuhua (circled, left) was reportedly murdered by her husband Zhou Yongkang. Zhou later married TV reporter Jia Xiaoye (right). Photo: ifeng.com, wmxa.cn
Wang Shuhua (circled, left) was reportedly murdered by her husband Zhou Yongkang. Zhou later married TV reporter Jia Xiaoye (right). Photo: ifeng.com, wmxa.cn

Zhou Yongkang lights up internet chatter

It’s open season on Zhou Yongkang.

Since Baidu unblocked online searches on China’s former security tsar, the mainland’s internet community has lit up with lively chatter.

Forums, discussion groups and rumor mills have sprouted from nowhere.

Yet, a few months ago, you couldn’t dig up anything controversial or compromising about the powerful Communist Party official.

Even his peers were guarded and any online discussion stopped at China’s so-called Great Firewall.

“You know what I mean,” a top Chinese official said in March about a rumored investigation of Zhou.

But after the government officially announced an investigation into Zhou’s affairs, Baidu restored its search service on him, throwing up striking references, some disparaging (“king of prostitutes” is one such reference).

News portal ifeng.com reported on Wednesday that Zhou’s ex-wife, Wang Shuhua, was crushed to death by a car with military plates in 2002 on her way to a gathering of wives of senior officials. The report cited people with knowledge of the matter.

Meanwhile, rumors are spreading in the foreign media that Zhou plotted the supposed accident, Apple Daily reported Thursday. The “murder” may be indirectly linked to Jia Xiaoye, Zhou’s mistress at that time who later became his second wife, it said.

Zhou, 59, divorced Wang in 2000 and married 31-year-old TV reporter Jia in 2001. The report said Jia may have pretended to be pregnant in order to force Zhou into marriage, triggering his decision to kill his former wife, the report said.

The car’s driver got promoted after Zhou rose to the top of the political echelon, according to Apple Daily.

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MY/JP/RA

EJ Insight reporter

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