Mapping China's Zhou Yongkang's Web Of Power, Money, & Connections

Tyler Durden's picture

Having folded like a lawn chair over economic reforms, and instead done the exact opposite with a QE-lite, Xi Jinping is pressing ahead with his anti-graft, power-centric corruption probes. We recently introduced Zhou Yongkang, China's ex-defense chief, whose net worth is estimated at a stunning $14 billion... but as The South China Morning Post exposes, his sprawling empire runs deep...


A look at the extensive business interests of Zhou Yongkang, after the former security chief was placed under formal investigation, shattering the decades-old political taboo of not prosecuting the highest ranking Communist Party officials for corruption.

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max2205's picture

The bigger they are...

Ignatius's picture

I'm certain that he's a really swell guy.

That kind of wealth/power is sickness, not success.

Spitzer's picture

What is your threshold ? Anything over 20 million ?

Ignatius's picture

Glad you asked, Spitzer.  Society sets arbitrary limits to different things all the time that have no objective reasoning or justification.  If you want my opinion, then I'd say $1 billion current dollars is more than enough, and I don't distinguish as to whether a guy stole it or made it honestly saving babies.

Market economies are great, but not perfect (monopoly capitalism, etc.).  Periodic resets (cxl debts, etc.) are a historical fact.

LetThemEatRand's picture

I say let a guy make as much as he can so long as it's not theft.  It's the part about leaving dynastic wealth to heirs that bothers me.  That is how royalty operates.  

Ignatius's picture

The game of Monopoly has a built-in reset:  new game.

I don't have a plan, just a hunch.  If we can set a speed limit in a school zone then I think we can also figure out that too much wealth/power becomes a problem.  Note that those that already have this wealth/power will likely vehemently disagree.  Like whistleblower Binney, he doesn't say "no spying ever" he just acknowledges that limits need to be carefully set and enforced.

Slave's picture

Good thing there's names under those portraits because I can't tell those motherfuckers apart at all.

Just kidding, the names don't help either. Why are they named either Wang or Dong? No wonder all the asians move to San Fran.


Okay, maybe they look a little different:

Zhou is shitting.

Ji is whistling.

Tan is stealing looks at his hot sister.

Tao is retarded.

DeusHedge's picture

white looking asians are stupid. Asian looking whites are stupid. So what's this guy?

WhyWait's picture

Great analogy.

Monopoly game works because everyone agrees on the rules beforehand.  Unspoken Rule #1: game over when the majority says it's over, then it's time for a new deal and a new game.

In real world he who has the hotels makes the rules, and past a certain point the rest of us are stuck paying their rents and borrowing from them to pay it - until we can agree on turning the board over.

The BRICS project, and the Putin plan, requires a stable China to work - a China that can ride out the gathering and unstoppable financial collapse.  My sense is that a stable China depends critically on the Chinese leadership being able to purge itself of these MF billionaires and kleptocrats and clean house.  But what are the odds that it's not too late?  It's hard to imagine these billionaires don't already have enough "hotels" to change the rules, including Rule #1, and thwart all efforts at reform. 

My gut tells me the Monopoly game there is about to lock up, the billionaires - like our own - will successfully block the urgent reforms and actions that are needed, and China's financial meltdown will then result in a massive social, economic and political meltdown.  The Chinese people have made two revolutions within living memory, and the hundred-millions are certainly thinking and talking about doing it again.  The CIA and all its agents and connections with the kleptocrats and billionaires will certainly in with both feet and try to preempt it with a color revolution, while supporting all the nationalities along the borders to try for their independence.  

I'm rooting for the Chinese leadership to succeed in rooting those devils out of power and holding China together as the financial system collapses. But I wouldn't bet on it.

Anyway, it certainly is getting interesting.

zorba THE GREEK's picture

It is time to clean house of ugly corruption both in China and in the U.S

Juno Rock's picture

Correct. Those who reside in a glass house, should not throw stones. 

zorba THE GREEK's picture

I don't care how rich you are...when you are that ugly, you better have some

dynamite drugs to offer bitches if you want to get laid.

junction's picture

Senator Dianne Feinstein of California must be thinking, "I only made about $300 million from the Iraqi construction contracts I gave to my husband's construction firms when I was chair of the Senate MilCon subcommitteee.  I should have stolen more."

ekm1's picture

Nothing further is going to happen.

If something stupid occurs, each member of any politburo family would be at risk of life


Anything further now will sink politburo in open bloody civil war with family members dead on streets

Joebloinvestor's picture

He must have really pissed someone off.

Smegley Wanxalot's picture

Oh what a tangled web we weave when first we practice Ho Lee Fuk.

buzzsaw99's picture

off with his head

Bangin7GramRocks's picture

All hail communism! Lenin would be so proud.

Offthebeach's picture

Don't they have.."foundations" " The Clinton Foundation"?

Apostate2's picture

Some deleted (censored) comments from Weibo on 'Do you dare touch the Tiger's butt' Zhou:


The newly enthroned emperor catching corrupt officials from the previous dynasty—the best way to establish one’s might and win the hearts of the people. It’s a tried-and-true method of the last two thousand years: the more you people take out and the higher the position of the guys you nab, the greater the applause and love from the people. The truth is the people are the playthings of those in power. But can the people eat distractions? Imperial power is always strengthened by attacking adversaries and stabilized by fooling the people.


If there was no [Communist] Party, then these “big tigers” like Zhou Yongkang and Xu Caihou wouldn’t have become fat cats in the first place. They have been a scourge on this country for all these years, yet they are just now being removed… The party shouldn’t be bragging about how wise they are, they should be offering the people a sincere apology!!!


There’s no doubt that Master Kang had it coming. The problem is that this isn’t news to begin with. What needs to be examined is the fact that this super-old news and these long-standing “rumors” have now turned into a huge news story. It has been made public now, but society and the academic sphere can’t even discuss the matter freely in any official manner. In other words, what system was it that placed this corrupt individual on the top? Was it not the same insolent authoritarian system that took him out?


We knew Zhou Yongkang had been taken out a long time ago, but we also knew that those at the top didn’t let us know. So we all acted as if we didn’t know for the time being, waiting for the top to give us the OK: “Now, you may know.” Once they did, we broke into song and dance, celebrating the capture of a “big tiger.” And after this, in order to protect ourselves from harm, we still have to wait for the top to approve the things we should and should not know. What an adorable country this is.

COSMOS's picture

At least they are taking some down.  I dont see George Bush or Clinton or General Alexander sweating it out here.

The story is simple here.  This Chinese dude did not share his spoils with enough communist party members.  He got too greedy.

Apostate2's picture

Your analogy is too naive and too simple. There is press/media censorship in China that only allows voices to be heard that follow the party line. Hence the deleted criticisims from Chinese bloggers. There is a very critical ideological divide complicated by decades of local/regional power relationships that are enhanced by the central planning ethos. It is not so much a problem of spoils (that equates with corruption) but also a real and necessary ability to find a direction and hence a 'future' for the political-economy that may bring the country as a whole into a lawful and just (however articulated) and viable comity. 

Ban KKiller's picture

Chinese invented many corruption on a massive scale. Now every one does it!

Learn from the masters of book cookery. 

Wild Theories's picture

This graph must have been compiled by HK reporters, they got everyone who has worked for or is related to the man that has been questioned, even if they were just a minor offical working for him or some clown that performed at his party...

But haven't figured any of the important ties in the circles that actually mattered, like the links to Bo xilai or to members of the upper party echelon in the Jiang Zemin adminstration, the period in which Zhou came to power.

Apostate2's picture

Hong Kong pays attention to these events. 'Wu shi nian, bu bian', baby. Just 30 years and , as some say here, tick tock.

Note: giving someone a clock is equivalent to wishing death on the recepient.

Duude's picture

If it did come from a HK reporter, I can assure you it never appeared in any HK newspaper without ample assurances from the highest power within China that no would be killed for publishing it. But if it was me, I still wouldn't feel safe till I'd left the country.