Govt-funded serial on Communist party's anti-graft campaign a hit in China | world news | Hindustan Times
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Govt-funded serial on Communist party's anti-graft campaign a hit in China

Many of the cases to be shown have been picked up from real-life and the first episode showed an official who slept on a bed that hid banknotes worth 230 million Yuan or more than $33 million.

world Updated: Apr 02, 2017 20:57 IST
Sutirtho Patranobis
The 55-episode series “In the Name of the People,” made its debut on state television last week and made an immediate splash.
The 55-episode series “In the Name of the People,” made its debut on state television last week and made an immediate splash.(YouTube screengrab)

Bankrolled by the top prosecuting agency of China, a television series on the high-profile anti-corruption drive launched by President Xi Jinping in 2013 has not only won acclaim but also become an online hit, state media reported on Sunday.

The 55-episode series “In the Name of the People,” made its debut on state television last week and made an immediate splash.

Many of the cases to be shown have been picked up from real-life and the first episode showed an official who slept on a bed that hid banknotes worth 230 million Yuan or more than $33 million.

Author Zhou Meisen, author of the novel on which the series is based, told official Xinhua news agency it was easy for the makers to get the required permission from China’s strict censors.

It of course helped that the 120 million Yuan required for the series was financed by the Supreme People’s Procuratorate, China’s highest prosecutorial agency accountable to the National People’s Congress, the country’s Parliament.

“Top TV and film watchdogs usually take months to approve material on corruption, but the show was approved just 10 days after submission to the State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film, and Television,” Zhou told Xinhua.

State media gloated on the work done by the Communist Party of China’s anti-graft officials.

“The CPC's resolve to fight corruption and build clean government is being mirrored in the arts,” with focus on the work of disciplinary investigators whose job is to bring down corrupt officials, “whether they are tigers or flies (senior or junior leaders).”

The initial success is rubbing off on the actors too.

“The actor who plays the main protagonist, Lu Yi, now has 25 million followers on Weibo, a Twitter-like service, and received 33,500 “likes” for a message he sent promoting the show's premiere on March 28,” the report said.

The report added that China's courts had concluded 45,000 graft cases implicating 63,000 people in 2016, with 35 former officials at the provincial and ministerial level or above, and 240 at the prefectural level convicted.

Among the “tigers” brought down by the anti-corruption campaign were Zhou Yongkang, a former member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee, and Bo Xilai, former Party chief of Chongqing Municipality, two of China’s high-profile politicians during their time.