Zhang Lijia at the BBC

When the official China Daily reported that a scandal like Harvey Weinstein‘s sexual escapades could not happen in China, many raised their eyebrows.  Author Zhang Lijia, of Lotus: A Novel on prostitution in China, sets the record straight for AFP.


The litany of alleged crimes in corruption cases can sometimes be cover for factional score-settling. But official data shows that men in power hand ample ammunition to their critics.

A 2013 study from Renmin University in Beijing found that 95 percent of corrupt officials had extramarital affairs, and at least 60 percent had kept a mistress, which typically involves providing an apartment and an allowance.

“It’s definitely still prevalent,” said Beijing-based writer Zhang Lijia, who conducted research on China’s sex industry for her novel, “Lotus”.

“The traditional practice of men showing their social standing with numerous concubines has returned in the form of mistress culture.”

More in AFP.

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