Party leaders in Shaanxi province were left red faced when netizens spotted that a photo, published by the party’s own Yulin Daily, showed officials having a “meeting” around a mahjong table.
The Beijing News, apparently uncowed by its recent brush with the censors, also published the images, alongside a photo of Shaanxi official Wang Pak sleeping at a party conference.
Yulin Daily originally published the photo alongside a typically obsequious non-story, “Yulin city’s People’s Congress deputies examine proposals submitted by delegations”. Weibo users quickly spotted that the ‘meeting’ was taking place around a mahjong table which, though covered with cloth, clearly bore the logo “Shanghai Mahjong Friends”.
“Our hard-working officials obviously don’t stop working even when playing mahjong,” commented one user dryly.
Yulin officials justified their use of the table, saying it was the only available surface at the 5 star hotel (!) they were staying at for a congressional conference.