Anti-gang TV series sparks interest in story of real-life criminal whose family bribed his way out of prison
Published: Aug 12, 2021 07:48 PM
A screenshot of Sun Xiaoguo Photo: Sina Weibo

A screenshot of Sun Xiaoguo Photo: Sina Weibo

 Chinese netizens have noticed that the story of a character in the new anti-gang TV series Crime Crackdown, Sun Xing, is similar to the life of the real-life criminal Sun Xiaoguo, who was executed in February 2020 for gang-related crimes committed after serving a 12-year prison sentence.

The hashtag "the prototype of Sun Xing is Sun Xiaoguo" has become a hot topic on China's Twitter-like Sina Weibo, earning more than 270 million views as of Thursday. Netizens were shocked by the similarities between the stories shown in the TV series and Sun's criminal past.

In the series, a criminal named Gao He is serving a sentence for murder and is scheduled for execution. However, one of his relatives helps Gao switch his identy with another prisoner named Sun Xing, who is up for parole. After successfully escaping prison, "Sun Xing" continues his life of crime. 

In reality, Sun was a man from Southwest China's Yunnan Province who was serving 20 years in prison for the rape of three girls under 18 years old and the attempted rape of a girl under 14 years old, as well as assaults and battery of two 17-year-old girls. In 2010, Sun was released after receiving several reductions to his sentence, serving only 12 years and five months in prison.

A later investigation revealed that Sun's mother and stepfather had bribed officials to have Sun's sentence reduced. 

After being released, Sun did not correct his behavior. He changed his name to Li Chenlin and continued to be involved in a local gang's activities. In 2018, he was arrested for assault, and during an investigation into the crime, investigators uncovered the corruption that led to his early release. In 2019, the Higher People's Court of Yunnan increased his original sentence and he was executed in February 2020.  

"The related criminal facts and judicial corruption involved are shocking, which seriously challenged the red line of the general public and the law," the court said in a statement according to a report from the Xinhua News Agency.

Sun's case shocked the whole country after it was exposed, especially because of the "protection umbrella" sheltering the criminal.