Harbin Fire Official Says Expensive Moncler Jacket Was Gift

Shi Jiaxing [right] at the scene of the fire rescue wearing an expensive name brand down padded jacket, inciting the ire of netizens.
Shi Jiaxing [right] at the scene of the fire rescue wearing an expensive name brand down padded jacket, inciting the ire of netizens.

From NetEase:

“Padded Jacket Brother”: Down-Filled Jacket Just Several Thousand Yuan

Harbin city official wears luxury brand down jacket during fire fighting, claims daughter purchased it for him from abroad.

January 2nd, at the Harbin fire disaster that claimed the lives of 5 firefighters, Harbin Municipal Party Committee Member and Secretary-General Shi Jiaxing wore an expensive down-filled jacket at the scene of the fire. The photo of Shi Jiaxing wearing his name brand down jacket attracted attention from netizens who dubbed him “Padded Jacket Brother”. The goose down garment that Shi Jiaxing wore is by the brand Moncler, which is sold for over 10,000 yuan domestically. Shi Jiaxing responded to the media claiming his down jacket was bought abroad by his daughter, and just a few thousand RMB.

In this photo that spread widely on WeChat and Weibo, a government official wearing glasses and a black down jacket is receiving a report on the scene [of the fire]. Netizens added the caption: “To sacrifice one’s life for the country at such a young age, 20,000 [RMB] is given as death compensation. What this government leader wearing glasses is wearing is a Moncler down jacket, which retails for over 10,000 [RMB]. The 20,000 death compensation is so they can buy a down jacket.”

By comparing photos, NetEase media discovered that the government official in the photo is Harbin Municipal Party Committee Member and Secretary-General Shi Jiaxing. Information on the Harbin city government’s website show that he is responsible for coordinating the Municipal Party Committee’s detailed activities and operations. He is in charge of managing all the affairs of the Municipal Working Committee. He is also in charge of the Municipal Party Committee General Office, Municipal Party Committee Political Research Office, Municipal Archives Administration, and assists the Municipal Bureau for Complaints.

The photo shows clearly that the logo on this government official’s down jacket is indeed Moncler. Moncler is a famous brand based in France’s Grenoble that specializes in producing outdoor athletic equipment, and already has a specialty store in Harbin. The prices of down jackets on it’s Chinese-language website are 10,000 yuan and above.

This afternoon, Shi Jiaxing indicated during an interview with ThePaper that this down jacket was a gift his daughter purchased from abroad for him, and that the price abroad was just several thousand kuai [RMB]. Shi Jiaxing claims he wore this down jacket to go see his daughter working in Beijing on January 2nd during the New Year’s Day holiday period. After learning that the fire had claimed the lives of firefighters that night, he immediately changed the ticket for his flight to rush back to Harbin by the morning of the 3rd. He says because the situation was urgent, he had rushed directly from the airport to the scene of the fire rescue, and did not have the time to change clothes. Shi Jiaxing indicates that he is completely thankful of netizens’ oversight [of government officials] and understands the public being upset over the the death of the 5 firefighters and the injuries suffered by over a dozen. He says his momentary carelessness during the urgent circumstances of a fire rescue instigated negative public sentiments, objectively impacted the image of Party members and cadres in a negative way, and for this he feels deeply ashamed.

On the afternoon of January 2nd, a fire broke out at a warehouse in Harbin, killing 5 firefighters. Afterwards, the Heilongjiang Provincial Public Security Department’s official microblog posted information saying that it has provided 20,000 yuan in death compensation to the families of every martyr [firefighter that died in the line of duty], and incited netizen discontent. Shi Jiaxing’s down jacket was also used [by netizens] for comparison. Afterward, the relevant departments clarified that the 20,000 yuan was just the benefit provided by the “National Public Security Police Death Compensation for Meritorious Service Fund”, and that the death compensation for firefighters who die in the line of duty far exceeds this amount, possibly exceeding 500,000 yuan.

Text: Zhang Shuzhou. Editor: Zhang Han.

Comments from NetEase:

READ  Guangdong English Teacher Dubbed 'Goddess Sister' By Students

网易黑龙江省手机网友 ip:42.102.*.*

Saying things are better abroad than in China in disguise.


How did his daughter go abroad? How much were her expenses? Is his household income enough to provide for the expenses of his daughter studying or living abroad? If she works, then what kind of employer does she work for? Is it an overseas branch of a Chinese state company? Is there any exploitation of official connections involved? There are too many trails of investigation to pursue.

网易澳大利亚手机网友 ip:101.176.*.* (responding to above)

After watching Detective Conan, it’s time for you to go back to moving bricks.

网易河北省秦皇岛市手机网友 ip:120.6.*.*

Then explain the money your daughter had to go abroad.


As a municipal government official, even with a reasonable income, it isn’t a big deal to be able to purchase this down garment…

网易江西省赣州市手机网友 ip:182.107.*.* (responding to above)

Bullshit, a municipal government official’s salary is just a few thousand. How much more could a department-level official make?

1984OWY5 [网易黑龙江省哈尔滨市手机网友]:

My god, so dark. In the future, civil servants shouldn’t complain about increasing their pay. Even if your pay is increased, do you dare spend it? This story tells us that civil servants don’t have the right to save money to buy expensive things, that their children also don’t have the right to go abroad, because the moment you accumulate enough money to make a single big purchase, a bunch of glass-hearts [oversensitive people] online will criticize you.
If you don’t have have any evidence, don’t babble, this isn’t the Cultural Revolution. A person with ten houses may be proof of corruption, but what can buying a single piece of nice clothing prove?

网易江苏省泰州市手机网友 ip:58.222.*.*

He’s not far from being formally detained and investigated for discipline violations.

网易湖南省长沙市手机网友 ip:223.104.*.*

Rome was not built in a day! Just think about why there is public hatred of the rich and of government officials! Think about the deeper reasons!/causes!

Richard夏 [网易江苏省南京市手机网友]:

This bastard must be strictly investigated.

网易黑龙江省哈尔滨市手机网友 ip:125.211.*.*

Purchased abroad, but how did your child go abroad if not for you having money? So where did your money come from? A person’s life not even worth two down jackets!

伴你远航 [网易江苏省镇江市手机网友]:

Investigate and there is sure to be problems.

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Written by Fauna

Fauna is a mysterious young Shanghainese girl who lives in the only place a Shanghainese person would ever want to live: Shanghai. In mid-2008, she started chinaSMACK to combine her hobby of browsing Chinese internet forums with her goal of improving her English. Through her tireless translation of popular Chinese internet news and phenomenon, her English has apparently gotten dramatically better. At least, reading and writing-wise. Unfortunately, she's still not confident enough to have written this bio, about herself, by herself.

  • mr.wiener

    Expensive?… It makes him look like he is wearing a sleeping bag.

    • Hey, it’s cold there! :)

      • mr.wiener

        I sure he uses that excuse all the time :)

        • JayJay

          It is cold. I was just there last week.

    • Mighty曹

      A very expensive sleeping bag.

  • Dr Sun

    A gift from his daughter who cycled to France I guess

  • Don’t Believe the Hype

    Good to see netizens are reacting to the overcoverage of Harbin officials. Has there been much news regarding the victims of the fire?

    • biggj

      The victims don’t mean shit. What are 5 dead chinese firefighters?? No one cares about that. All that matters is what kind of expensive coat this guy is wearing and how he can afford it.

      • Don’t Believe the Hype


      • Teacher in China

        I can understand your argument that the timing is a little insensitive given the deaths and injuries from the fire, but honestly, it seems like the fire was caused at least in part by government officials not doing their jobs properly (i.e., code violations not being enforced, etc.); so when this bastard shows up showing off the illicit gains from his government job, I can understand why people are jumping all over him for it, and I definitely think it’s worth investigating.

  • FYIADragoon

    Jesus, you’re going to wear an “expensive” winter jacket and you picked the shittiest looking type? Nice job marshmallow. Also, netizens are on the right track, study abroad isn’t cheap at all.

    • codfilet

      without that little Moncler patch on the arm, no one would even paid any attention to that dumpy-looking coat.

      • Surfeit

        Fuckin A! They’re going crazy over it.

    • Teacher in China

      Yeah I think anyone who can send their daughter overseas to study must have some serious cash laying around. Study fees + book fees + living expenses + plane tickets = more than any low or mid level government official should be able to afford.

      • Munkee

        I know personnally at least two families where the parents’ combined income does not exceed CNY 8,000 monthly which have sent their only daughter study abroad (Australia and Canada). This was not cheap, but having bought their apartment for close to nothing during the 90s and being quite thrifty/low-profile, they managed to pay everything without being especially wealthy.

        • Teacher in China

          That would definitely be the exception rather than the rule. In any case, as I said in reply to a different comment – a default setting in this case should be suspicion, and there’s nothing wrong with that.

      • Brido227

        Yet every year tens of thousands of none-too-well-off families manage to do it.

        I’m bang onside with officials being scrutinised to guard against corruption but it’s beginning to stink of Salem over there.

        • Teacher in China

          I have to disagree with that. You have to be middle class at the very least to be able to afford to send a daughter or son overseas to study, and even that would make it difficult. While I agree with you on the Salem comment in a way, I think the default position should be suspicion in the case of an official with a child studying overseas.

          • Brido227

            For the last 10 years I’ve been directly involved in recruiting Chinese students for a UK university and I know what the demographic is. These are not on the whole exceptionally wealthy families, just ones which have saved for most of their working lives and maybe borrowed from extended families or banks to cover the rest.

            Frankly, an official who limits their corruption to those sorts of sums is either lacking ambition or a role-model to be praised.

          • Teacher in China

            For 7 years I worked at a school directly sending kids to study abroad in Canada and for the last 10 years have been living in China. Middle-class or higher are the only people sending their kids abroad. Be aware that lower middle class people are earning around 2000 or less per month according to recent figures; if these people are sending kids abroad, they are the exception and not the rule. And again, a default position of skepticism of any government official able to send his daughter abroad to study is entirely reasonable, especially given the corruption of the past decades.

          • Brido227

            The kids I was meeting and interviewing came from more than just one school, or even just one province. They were spread across the country, albeit with a weighting toward urban centres and the eastern/central/southern areas. Hardly any of them were from wealthy families, so I’ll go with my own data, thanks.

            I don’t disagree that scepticism towards officials is generally justified but simply saying, “He’s sent his daughter abroad so he must be crooked” isn’t IMO since it’s an expense that I know to be within reasonable means for anyone with a modest income and good long-term saving habits.

          • Teacher in China

            I get you. I guess it’s past time to just agree to disagree :)

        • FYIADragoon

          I think you’re being a bit optimistic there.

    • Stefan

      How about Canada Goose? Do u think it’s good?

      • biggj

        No different than any luxury brand. Over priced. I got one as a gift a few years ago. It’s good quality but I get too fucking hot wearing it. And I life in extreme cold and it too warm to wear. I actually prefer my columbia jacket over the canada goose one. Seems to be more breathable.And only like $200.IF you are outside all day in -30 a canada goose might come in handy but from house to car to store or whatever….not really worth it.

        • Stefan

          I wear Canada Goose and it’s really comfortable here in Sweden.

          • biggj

            Yeah im naturally a warm person. I usually never need to wear winter clothes at all. Like a spring jacket usally I can rock that all winter and not be cold.

            I notice a lot of woman seem to be wear canada goose a lot more now. I hardly see men wearing them anymore. It seems to be a female asian thing here in canada. Just my own observation. There are a lot of fakes going around though. And rich white PC chicks dont like the fact they use coyote fur.

          • codfilet

            Both my wife and I have CG coats here in Michigan-I seldom see another one “in the wild”, but when I do, it’s always an Asian woman wearing it.I have two-the Expedition, and the Constable. I made a mistake buying the Expedition-it’s too much coat for Michigan-there’s only a couple of days I can comfortably wear it. The Constable is just right,though.

      • FYIADragoon

        I think it looks ugly personally, but I’m aware that they’re at least warm. I’m able to deal with cold temperatures though so I can afford to buy something that looks decent while having mild warmth properties.

  • biggj

    The jacket is probably a 100 yuan chinese knock off. But in order to save face he claims it’s real, even if it cost him his job. Sprite had it all wrong,” image is everything, thirst is nothing.”

    • sk8erry

      Not really, “chinese knock off” has been a popular excuse for chinese officers since forever. Even if chinese people love “face”, its not as important as job.

    • jin

      Seems like you still don’t understand the Chinese.

      • biggj

        It was a joke.I’m 100% sure it’s real, the guy is just dumb for wearing it. All that is going to do is raise questions to were the money come from. It’s brings unnecessary attention to you, especially if you only make a few 1000 rmb a month. Knocks offs are for peasants who want to look cool and cant afford it. This guy does not fit that bill.

    • Zappa Frank

      the real moncler is already fake.. than there is no difference

  • Luke the Duke

    Some of China’s politicians are still getting the hang of all this ‘pretend you have no money’ stuff that social media bile necessitates. Go easy, they’ll get the hang of it soon enough.

    • Surfeit

      “‘pretend you have no money’ stuff ”

      Nail. Head. Hit.

  • A Gawd Dang Mongolian

    Um there is still the issue of the fire. That’s still a thing guys…guys?

    • biggj

      Yeah, like a fire and 5 dead chinese is the main issue. pfff….thats lame.

      • David

        lol I know. Of all the issues to get upset about the guys coat???? Not corruption or bad leadership, lax construction and maintenance standards. A frigging coat.

        • Kai

          They aren’t upset about the coat itself, they’re upset because they suspect the coat is proof of his corruption (thus bad leadership) as a government official.

          The thing is, it might not be that great of a “smoking gun” because it isn’t terribly impossible for a government official with a daughter who works in Beijing to save up money and buy such an item for her dad.

          Edit: Kinda confused with the sentiment of this comment, cuz you apparently then went on to make this comment which should preclude you from making the above comment.

          • David

            Making the second comment in no way precludes me from making this comment (which I made first, but that doesn’t really matter). I UNDERSTAND the reason people are upset, I just think it is funny and weird that the coat is what they fixate on. I was not saying they should not fixate on the coat or that they were wrong to, I just think it is a strange thing to comment on. I don’t know how else to explain it.

          • Kai

            I understand the chronology of your comments but I don’t understand how the sentiments in both aren’t mutually exclusive. You yourself in your latter comment seemed to demonstrate you understand the coat is only being “fixated” on because it is what they think evidences underlying corruption. It is just a proxy, a symbol, a supposed piece of evidence. They are not commenting on the coat itself for itself, but for its value as a “smoking gun”.

            By way of analogy, it’s like a wife pointing to a pair of panties she discovers in her husband’s car that isn’t her own. Is she “fixated” or “upset about” the panty itself? No, she’s on about it because of what it represents to her. Same with the coat here.

            I’m pretty sure I’m not misunderstanding you in either of your comments, so that’s why I don’t really see how they can reconcile, unless what you wrote in the second comment was a thought that you didn’t yet have when you wrote the first one. I just don’t find it as “strange” to comment on a smoking gun. I’m not trying to give you a hard time, I’m just trying to understand your thought process.

  • codfilet

    I’d heard of this brand,so I checked out their website. Odd-looking coats at very high prices. LOL! I’ll stick with my Canada Goose-at least they make serious arctic gear.

  • MidniteOwl

    In Canada, there are alot of sons and daughters of dirty money. ALOT! But they seldomly add value to our society. They just take up space… If only there was a way for the government to find out which one’s were truly potted from dirty soil.

    • tony gonzales

      its funny because the houses they buy probably contribute more tax dollars to the government than you would in a lifetime. in the view of the government they contribute more than you.

    • David

      That is sounding a lot like forced wealth redistribution. That is the path to fascism/tyranny You don’t want to go that way.

  • Who cares

    Who gives a shit?
    He’s not allowed to buy a coat if he’s an official?

    • biggj

      You can buy one, just don’t be seem with it on in public. lol

  • bujiebuke

    “Shi Jiaxing indicated during an interview with ThePaper that this down jacket was a gift his daughter purchased from abroad for him, and that the price abroad was just several thousand kuai [RMB].”

    I think Jiaxing forgot that the internet exists and most people are capable of googling (yahooing in China) that jacket to confirm his claim (http://store.moncler.com/us/jacket_cod41457019xo.html). A quick currency conversion will reveal it’s closer to 10,000 yuan in retail as the article points out. Also, I don’t think even a 9 year-old would buy into his flimsy story of “immediately arriving at the scene from the airport”. It’s insulting that he thinks people would buy into that kind of lie.

  • Zappa Frank

    WOw, the ‘MADE IN MOLDOVA’ moncler… the jacket that are have a cost of production of 10-20 euros and are sold at 600-800 euros. Recently on Italian medias have been risen a big issue about this brand (ex-made in Italy) and their method of production.

    • Chaz

      “British” Barbours are made in Dracula land

      • codfilet

        Belstaff has been hijacked,too.

        • Ken Morgan

          Belstaff used to make really good motorbike jackets in the UK.They were bought out around 2006 and now they make fashion jackets which are terrible qualify made in Vietnam.

  • Chaz

    Yer kidding right? Moncler is one of the most commonly faked and/or sold as “export brand from the factory back door” jackets on the lines of North Face, in the great PRC.
    Anyone in China wearing Moncler risks coming across as a total tu hao rube these days! Even if they just stepped out of the Sanlitun boutique 2 minutes before!
    The question I’d be asking is: what’s his daughter doing overseas and how does she have the funds to buy the jacket (assuming it’s real) in light of the scrutiny on officials and their families these days?
    (BTW – he REALLY looks concerned)

  • CK

    Still Made in China

  • Irvin

    People still thinks wearing overpriced shit is cool.

  • Looks like any ol puffy jacket from the markets to me…..

    • ClausRasmussen

      Puffy jackets seems to be standard issue in China. They all look like fat penguins in the winter lol

  • sudon’t

    It took me a while to realize they weren’t talking about the leather jacket. Either way, why the surprise? Doesn’t everyone know Chinese officials get most of their income through bribes, and not salary?

  • ladyM

    I dont get, youre not allowed to have nice things in China?
    Im in the middle class and have studied abroad, have a few expensive things or two and about to go abroad for a month for vacation doesn’t mean im rich.
    I would kinda expect for an official to be in a better economic position anyway.
    What is with all this hate on the rich? Are people expecting the officials to also be poor with their job title? Someone please explain to this American :p

    • David

      Officials in China get paid small salaries and make most of their money through corruption. This means if you are a building inspector you take bribes by contractors, let them build crap buildings that don’t last 20 years and eventually people die. The Chinese are used to this and quite honestly you would be hard pressed to find an official at ANY level who is not corrupt (the higher your level the more money you make, until you reach the national level where you and your family and friends are able to steal billions from the country). They even make jokes about this, the jacket the guy is wearing costs more than a months pay for him so they are making fun of him.

  • Mighty曹

    What about the designer frame (eye glasses) and watch he’s wearing?

  • spottedzebz

    I may be voicing an unpopular opinion, but I don’t actually see a huge problem with him wearing that jacket. Was it in poor taste given the situation? Yes, of course. But we shouldn’t expect him to take it off and make a show of it. His daughter could be a student studying abroad, she could be working there via a company, she could have gone on vacation. We just don’t know. I’m studying foreign service and I’m fortunate enough to travel as an occupation. When I got my first paycheck, I splurged on a pretty sizable gift for my parents as a thank you for all they did for me. Not saying the two situations are parallel, but it does lead one to evaluate circumstances before criticism

    Also, as a response to some people’s comments about the price of studying abroad. I studied abroad twice (once in undergrad and once in grad) on scholarships that made it so my parents didn’t have to pay anything out of pocket. I also personally know many many many people who have traveled similarly. I guess what I’m trying to say is, yes, corruption is a serious problem in China, but I think we should be more prudent in our accusations

  • crimsonarmor

    padded jacket cost 10,000? wow! what a load of crap, he should have gone to uniqlo, cheaper and more stylish lol :)