Netizen Satire Defends Nanjing Commissioner Zhou

Zhou Jiugeng seen with expensive cigarettes.
"What kind of cigarettes are this? This are Nanjing Cigarette Company's highest-grade "9-5 zhizun" cigarettes! One carton costs 1500 yuan!"

Zhou Jiugeng, the Commissioner of the Nanjing Housing Administration Bureau that was, has been a hot topic on the Chinese BBS discussion forums recently. Many netizens noticed in pictures of him that he smokes very expensive cigarettes and wears very expensive watches that a government official should not be able to afford on their salary. Many have called this “Cigarette-gate.”

Nanjing 9-5 zhizun cigarettes.

Chinese government official wearing expensive Vacheron Constantin watch.

Vacheron Constantin watches, similar to the one worn by China government official Zhou Jiugeng.

From Tianya:

A cry for fairness for good comrade Zhou Jiugeng!

Photos can never be counted as evidence of officials’ corruption, because video tapes and witness testimonies can never be counted as evidence of officials’ sexual abuse of adolescent girls either. In order to keep myself alive with health [sanity], I always tell myself to change whatever I could change and accept whatever I have to accept. Since we can’t change those stupid cunts in the society, we change ourselves into stupid cunts.

Maybe Commissioner Zhou only smokes “Nanjing 9-5 zhizun” [expensive cigarettes] on rare occasions, but how can we say that he smokes one pack a day? Maybe he puts some “Da sheng chan” [super cheap cigarettes] in the expensive cigarette pack after he has finished the expensive ones. After all, who can prove that the cigarettes inside are real “Nanjing 9-5 zhizun?” Moreover, maybe Commissioner Zhou has never smoked expensive cigarettes and just picks up a cigarette pack [from the ground]. Even if you had taken a picture of the trademark and brand name of the cigarette between his fingers, how can you dispute that Commissioner Zhou just picks up cigarette butts to enjoy?

Commissioner Zhou wears a watch; who has taken a picture of the trademark? How can it be proved that it was a Vacheron Constantin? Even though you had taken a picture of the trademark, who can prove this is not a counterfeit he bought from a roadside stall? For example, is it just a 20 kuai [fake] Rolex? Even though the watch he wears is a real Vacheron Constantin, who can dispute the fact that such an incorruptible and honest cadre member could have just borrowed it from someone and put it on his own wrist? Officials have borrowed cars before. An off-road vehicle is much more expensive than a watch. Civilians support officials working, what make you qualified to decry lending things to officials? Besides, Commissioner Zhou’s weary look does not necessarily mean he visits prostitutes every night. It is very possible that Commissioner Zhou has been working hard day and night for citizens of Nanjing, hoping they all could live in cheap housing. Even though you journalists had taken pictures of him in the red light district, how can you prove that he wasn’t there for inspecting the project of old town reconstruction and redevelopment?

There are so many good cadre members in our country, and they have been put in the wrong like this. They are concerned about the stability of our motherland, so they dispatch policemen to keep the society in order, but their actions are misunderstood to be suppressing civilian protests. They are concerned about the development of cities, so they send armed police to communicate with residents, but they are misunderstood to be violently tearing down houses. They raise the price of housing to prevent the financial crisis from spreading, but they are misunderstood to be colluding with real estate developers. They put the increase of state assets into consideration, so they don’t cut the price of gas, but what they are doing is misinterpreted as monopolization. They take a particularly suspicious bad guy to the police station to investigate, but the guy didn’t have a good body, was destined for a short life, was not careful while walking, hit the wall, and died. How can you say that cadres extorting his confession resulted in his death? They care for the next generation of our motherland, they only hug and tenderly touch adolescent girls, but they are misconstrued to be sexually abusive. Today, we just overacted! Commissioner Zhou just picked up some cigarette butts, but some people have linked him with corruption. How can it be that China’s officials don’t even have the right to pick up cigarette butts?!

Comments from Tianya:

Actually, the cigarettes he smokes are fake, 15 kuai per carton.
The watch he wears is fake, 15 kuai roadside stall counterfeit.

I ask for justice for Commissioner Zhou! I demand that public servants be treated fairly and rightly! I firmly agree that Commissioner Zhou is a “shanzhai” [counterfeit]! Ooops , I said it wrong due to my excitement. Commissioner Zhou wears “shanzhai”, smokes “shanzhai”, only his red heart is real—a heart really stuffed with fart/ cares about fart. [“fart”refers to civilians here. It is from the famous quote of another official Lin Jiaxiang “what fart are you people to me?”]

According to this article, he is such a good leader!

I came to pick up cigarette butts.

What LZ had said is very reasonable. We believe that the cigarettes in the pack are “Da qian me” [cheap cigarettes].

I support Commissioner Zhou. It is not easy for our country to train up an official. We need to be slow to slander him just because of a pack of cigarettes. We need even to be slower to make assumptions and guesses. I strongly suspect the motives of some posters, they either take dollars or euros or francs for what they do.

Little Zhou is a good comrade. The cigarette he smokes is not even better than mine. His is 3 yuan, mine is 5 yuan. The watch he wears is a 10 yuan digital watch. What a good person. Don’t judge him by his malevolent looks; he has a kind and good heart. What China has is a lot of good officials like him.

You fart civilians can’t afford such expensive cigarettes. Some officials don’t even care about their own health: they risk their lives to smoke to increase domestic demand. What spirit is this? I think it is the same as Dr. Norman Bethune’s: always benefit others, never benefit yourself.

I can prove that the watch the Commissioner is wearing costs 50 yuan, because it was me who sold it to him. Regarding the cigarette he smokes, I am not very sure.

I firmly uphold Party members and cadre members’ right to pick up cigarette butts! Especially good cadre member Comrade Zhou Jiugeng.

I suggest that public servants from now on should never smoke good cigarettes, wear fine clothes, wear fancy watches and drive nice cars to prevent meddlesome netizens from digging you out from the internet. Yeah, one more thing, if you have already left marks and vestiges on the internet, give huge amounts of blood [pay bloody huge amounts of money] to build up good relationships with different websites, and make them delete old pictures. (Big public servants should have no problem doing this, one order can do it. Not-very-big public servants, I think, only have one way to go, which is to sacrifice blood [pay a lot]). I am not exaggerating things just to scare you people. This current incident can be the cause of a nationwide search on the internet. Those who are reluctant to sacrifice blood will get trouble soon haha.
My last advice: If public servants are used to smoking good cigarettes, they can put good cigarettes in the pack of cheap ones. Make sure to cover the trademark on the name brand clothes, hats and pants. For super fancy and luxury necklaces, watches, ear rings, and etc, I suggest that it’s better to wear them at home. Try not to be on the news, try not to speak much. Talk much, err much. Making big fortunes secretly is the best way!

From Tianya, “The Commissioner who drives a Cadillac disappeared”: The commissioner of Nanjing Housing Administration Bureau who smokes heavenly high priced cigarettes has been investigated by the Discipline Inspection Commission:

No wonder Chinese civilians are so poor. It is because there are way too many “smoking this kind of cigarette is very common, nothing special to sensationalize” public servants.

Of course the government of Nanjing has money. You country bumpkins can not even be compared to it.

What fart are you people, not even equal to a carton of the cigarettes Old Comrade Zhou smokes.

Now it is the time to stimulate consumption. Those civil servants who could afford it need to smoke, and those who could not afford need to create opportunity to afford to smoke too. Those who just smoke whatever “9-5 zhizun” or “Ruan zhong hua” [cigarette brands] don’t love our country enough. If they smoke, they need to smoke the “Twin lions beside the planet”. [brand name for heroin #4].

Investigate! Surely he has mistresses, at least two!!!

1,500 is my one-month salary, how much is the cadre member’s salary?

As a matter of fact, I think, in places like Nanjing, Jiangsu province where the economy has already developed, for an official to drive a Cadillac is truly too commonplace, too commonplace, too commonplace.
Think about it, is this reasonable?
China’s economy growing so “fast”? Who do you think is expanding domestic demand? Did you really believe it was us ordinary people?
Even in the little county in the southwest where I am at, a 30+ year old commissioner of a county bureau drives Audi A6. Comrade brothers~ wake up.

Workers get fired if they are absent for 5 days, but civil servant don’t have to work for one week, fu*k!

So civil servants really can just not go to work…I understand now…

Ding this post, ding the corrupted official to the prison.

Investigate? Don’t take it seriously. It is set to trick you “civilians who don’t know the truth.”

Note from Fauna: A post on Mop says that beginning in 2009, cigarettes over 1000 RMB (including “Nanjing 9-5 zhizun”) can no longer be sold in China. This is probably so government officials cannot carelessly show off their money in public.  Some netizens think it is funny that Zhou Jiugeng has not yet fallen but the cigarettes he smoked have become a victim of him.

Netizen photoshop of Nanjing 9-5 zhizun cigarettes with Nanjing government official Zhou Jiugeng
From right to left: "Commissioner Zhou's exclusive cigarettes. 1500 yuan. These are not cigarettes, these are the blood and sweat of the ordinary common people!"

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Written by Ping

Ping, a native of China, grew up near Mount Everest and is currently pursuing a Master’s Degree in the US. Her interests are news reporting, column writing, and media ethics. Ping’s exposure to the Western world has allowed her to observe many cultural differences when compared to Eastern society as well as some misunderstandings about China in particular. Her experience motivates her to seek a career as a journalist in Tibet after she completes her studies in America.


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