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  • Writer's pictureZhaoyi Fang

Depiction of Victims in Chinese TV series


Recently I watched a Chinese T.V. series called Crime Crackdown, which tells a story of how the main character, along with the anti-gang group, wipes illegal groups and corrupted officials as their “protective umbrella.” This post will focus on a girl and her young brother who were both victimized in the T.V. series.

I will first introduce some background information about these siblings. The older sister, Yingzi, is a student currently studying at a university. Her younger brother, Xiaoshan, dropped out of high school, turned 18, and owned usury because of his gambling habits. While he decided not to tell his sister and ill parents the truth, he blackmailed a gang member and tried to pay his debt. Unsurprisingly, he got caught by the gangsters, who sued him because of Extortion. The chief of that police station, who the gang members had already bribed, asked Xiaoshan’s older sister to pay the gang members to revoke the case, so her brother’s criminal record could remain clean. She finally paid the bill and got her brother out of detainment. However, they both died because of their experience with the gang members, and this part of the drama is from a real case that happened in 2018.


Let’s first take a look at the brother’s situation. After blackmailing the gangster, he was instantly caught and badly beaten by the gang members, almost killing him. They deleted every piece of evidence on his cell phone and finally sent him to the dirty police. After being released from detainment, the gang leader decided to take his life as the ultimate insurance so that no one would know about their scandals. So the hitman murdered the younger brother and counterfeited the scene to make the police believe Xiaoshan committed suicide.

To sum up, Xiaoshan’s story is relatively straightforward. The gang members didn’t torture him for other information. Conversely, they deleted any “harmful” evidence from the victim’s cellphone and murdered him. Talking about male victims like Xiaoshan, I would say that his destiny was decided once he decided to blackmail a gang member. Crimes committed against male victims are also straightforward, and offenders usually made decisions before they hurt male victims. They know how badly they want to hurt the victim and what they want from the victim.

Before talking about the older sister, let’s first recall that it is because of her brother’s action that she engaged in this case, and later caused her death. Because she didn’t have enough money to get her brother out of detainment, she chose to collateralize loans with her naked pictures, which are called “naked loans,” and this is the first time she was victimized in the film. It is also worth mentioning that “naked loans” could also be usury, female victims who could not pay the debt will be forced to enter the prostitution business gangsters’ owned. Later, the gang members told her to apologize to the gangster in person, which resulted in rape and illegally recorded videos. Even though they released her brother, it was soon found out that Xiaoshan committed suicide at home. Of course, she had hope, but it was all gone when she lost his brother, so she jumped off the roof and killed herself.

Conclusion on the Female Side

This part of the drama is from a real-life story. Even though we have different gendered norms between China and the U.S., the depiction of female victimization is surprisingly similar to American criminologists’ perception. Women engage in crime or get victimized because of men. In this film, she didn’t do anything wrong until she decided to save her brother when she began to consider the illegal “naked loans” as a viable method. Another thing worth noticing is that she experienced more types of crimes than her brother did, which refers to the reality that women are more vulnerable to more crimes than men.

P.S.: Pictures could be triggering and uncomfortable for certain people. If you are interested, here are some keywords: Xu Yingzi, Crime Crackdown, and Xu Xiaoshan.

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