Chengguan Working as Undercover Street Vendor Controversy

The undercover chengguan Gui.

The undercover chengguan Gui.

From NetEase:

Wuhan Chengguan “Goes Undercover” as Street Vendor at Night Market

June 16, a netizen in Wuhan posted online: A chengguan officer of the Wuhan City Hongshan District City Management Bureau patrols the streets and raids street vendors as a law enforcer by day, and transforms into a part-time street vendor and sells tea mugs on the sidewalk by night. Wuhan Chengguan’s official microblog has responded, claiming that the person involved is an outstanding chengguan law enforcement officer; while figures from the Hongshan Chengguan claim: “Street vending” is an undercover job [mole], the objective of which is “transpositional thinking” [to think/see from the other side].

Gui is enforcing the law during the day.

After verification, the law enforcement officer in the pictures posted online by the netizen is surnamed Gui, is a regular employee of the Hongshan District Chengguan Bureau Law Enforcement Brigade 7th Detachment, 33 years old, has a Bachelor Degree, joined the Hongshan Chengguan Bureau via examination in 2003 May, passed the judicial examination in 2007, and has an outstanding work performance. In the pictures posted online, there was also a woman, an she is surnamed Yang, is also an office worker of the Hongshan Chengguan Bureau. Image is of the picture taken by the netizen of this chengguan enforcing the law during the day.

Gui is posing as a street vendor at night.

According to the relevant person in charge from the Hongshan District Chengguan Bureau, the two chengguan officers were indeed on an “undercover” mission. They were chosen by the bureau to pose as street vendors in the district during their off hours. While checking the law enforcing situations of the chengguan officers, [the bureau] also goes deeper into understanding street vendors’ actual conditions by using “transpositional thinking” [putting oneself in another’s shoes], in order to upgrade the management level in the future. Image is of the picture taken by the netizen of the chengguan officer posing as a street vendor at night.

Gui is posing as a street vendor at night.

This relevant person in charge claims that the undercover plan was supposed to be carried out for two months, but is accidentally compromised now only one month later. And the bureau has already debriefed the situation to the Municipal Chengguan Committee. Image is of the picture taken by the netizen of the chengguan officer posing as a street vendor at night.

Gui is speaking at the exchange meeting.

Gui and another undercover chengguan are at the exchange meeting.

On the morning of June 17, the Wuhan City Hongshan District Chengguan Bureau held a press briefing where they made public the chengguan officer’s street peddling journal. In the diary, he stated his motive for street peddling, which was “transpositional thinking”, and to improve the management. The diary also recorded many of his experiences as a street peddler.

The diary Gui keeps while street vending.

The diary Gui keeps while street vending.

The journal kept by the chengguan officer while [posing undercover as a] street vendor.

Gui is posing as a street vendor at night.

Many Chinese netizens appear unconvinced by the explanation of authorities that this city management officer is merely going undercover to experience what life is like for those they’re normally charged with enforcing the law on, instead preferring to believe or at least joke that the man was simply caught doing something he has to do to make ends meet, and that the authorities have fabricated the “undercover” cover story simply to explain away the superficial contradiction and irony.

Comments from NetEase:

风毒翩翩 [网易上海市网友]:

A real “Yan’an” kind of chengguan wouldn’t bother with this petty money. I reckon this chengguan is also just a good guy. Everyone has their difficulties!

风毒翩翩 [网易上海市网友]:

Everyone has a story [reason for what they do]. Editor, why expose him? Now he won’t be able to make a living…

憶文 [网易山东省枣庄市网友]:

You can know what a person is like by judging his/her face, and looking at his face, I think he’s not bad. What more, the goods he was selling were all just some tea mugs, and he was selling them at a small spot. When I first saw the title, I thought he was peddling food and snacks, but it was only some tea mugs. What can it prove? Everybody has a story. Furthermore, selling tea mugs also doesn’t cause that much pollution, much better than those BBQ businesses on the streets at night. The person who exposed him is hypocritical, there’s too much retaliation in your motive for doing so, and your life is a failure…

平常心24161964 [网易山西省太原市小店区网友]:

Just trying to feed his family…

屠龙术 [网易浙江省湖州市网友]: (responding to above)

It’s not easy working on the front lines…

okrunxue [网易广东省广州市网友]:

Being a chengguan is only a temporary job, while being a street vendor is his real job… It’s all just to make a living, his life isn’t easy either~

愚鼠临疯 [网易北京市网友]:

Just by a glance can tell that he is a good chengguan who doesn’t accept dirty money, a good man. The person who reporte this is making a fuss out of nothing.

网易浙江省温州市网友 ip: 122.228.*.*: (responding to above)

I think this should be reported. It’s not easy to have good chengguan nowadays. [This report] lets people know that there’s still a good guy within the chengguang ranks. This is chengguan’s positive energy.

网易广东省广州市手机网友 ip:112.94.*.*: (responding to above)

Good, my ass. These goods are probably the plunder these beasts seized during the day while wearing their flashy uniforms.

2007-cwj [网易辽宁省鞍山市海城市网友]:

As a chengguan during the day, the government feeds him; As a street vendor at night, he feeds himself. Operating on behalf of both the government and himself, making use of time in pursuit of the maximization of profit.

Comments from QQ:

腾讯杭州市网友 星星:

It’s no big deal at all. People should know there are differences between working time and off hours, between daytime and night. Aren’t there lots of night markets in lots of places at night? Besides, I think him being able to put aside face and earn money through his own hard work is cleaner than the dirty money of corrupt officials. The lawful income of chengguan isn’t high, and he may have difficulties, so what’s there to be exposed? What’s the big fuss about? Go expose more things of significance.

腾讯网友 金石开:

He is only an ordinary person, why can’t he be a street vendor? As long as he does it at a normal night market and doesn’t cause other people trouble. Life isn’t easy! Support!

腾讯网友 梦醒:

Personally, I think it’s OK!!! At least he works with his own hands and the money he makes is clean, not like many big figures, or big officials, where each one is more corrupt than another. I support this dude!!!

腾讯网友 冬眠兔:

It’s not as if all chengguan officers are bad, don’t lump all of them together!

腾讯网友 含笑饮砒霜:

Ha ha, undercover, so funny. But what he chooses to do at night in his off hours is his freedom, and it’s not like he’s doing anything illegal so why should everyone be so serious? If he was doing business by occupying the sidewalk illegally, then the Chengguan Bureau should give a good explanation, but they don’t have to make up some undercover job thing…

腾讯网友 心晴:

Come on, saying he’s an undercover mole is too much. Him being a street vendor is for supporting his family expenses. If it were explained like this, then everyone would be sympathetic [towards him].

腾讯网友 雨过天会晴。:

Tsk tsk, in the future if a policeman kills someone or breaks the law, they can also say he was just experiencing what it is like to commit a crime.

The undercover chengguan Gui.


Written by Peter Barefoot

Peter is a born and raised Chengdunese who enjoys drinking with all his friends.


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