The Return of China’s Concubines or should we call them Independent Escorts?

August 19, 2015

A friend of mine sent me a link to an interesting post of China’s Second Wives (concubines). “A 2008 estimate says that Second Wives account for a third of the country’s consumption of luxury products.”

The area Director of JWT North Asia, Tom Doctoroff, answered questions for the piece. He said, “When I ask people how much it costs to maintain a second wife – a trophy concubine – the average I’m told is 50,000RMB (about $7,600US). This isn’t just a girlfriend, this is someone who is kept. And she is displayed as somebody that’s a result of this guy’s power and influence, and access to funds.

However, it wasn’t like that for several decades.

When the Communist Party won China’s Civil War (1927 – 1949 with a break during WWII) and drove Chiang Kai-shek’s Nationalists from China, Mao announced that women held up half the sky; the practice of bound feet ended and women were considered equal to men for the first time in China’s history.

For thousands of years, the wealthy and powerful in China often had more than one wife and several concubines. The emperor had thousands of concubines.

Between 1949 and 1976, Mao’s goal was to change China by ending the old ways and building a new China that would be stronger and more capable of defending itself from invasions. Mao denounced Confucianism and literally waged a war against Buddhism (and all religions) in China. Mao ended the practice of having concubines too.

The goal to lead China away from its ancient cultural heritage ended after Mao’s death and recently the party had a statue of Confucius erected in Tiananmen Square in an effort to bring back some of the old ways.

Now that China is a hybrid capitalist nation, powerful and wealthy men are collecting concubines (those second wives) again. In fact, “A survey in the 2000s revealed that 60 percent of respondents said they had an affair at some point during their marriage, compared to 15 percent in the 1980s. Many sociologists believe the number is increasing all the time as rising standards of living make it more feasible economically to have affairs.” – Facts and

However, there is a difference. The legal system in China sees women as equals so women cannot be legally bought and sold. This time, women have a choice to be a concubine or wife.

In the embedded YouTube video of the Young Turks, it is mentioned that some wealthy and powerful men in America have concubines too, but in the US, those women are called swingers or escorts. To learn more, read this post at The Honest Courtesan-frank commentary from an unretired call girl in the U.S.

In fact, if a Chinese wife doesn’t approve of her husband having concubines, she now has the freedom to divorce him, and divorce is on the rise in China.


Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of My Splendid Concubine [3rd edition]. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. This is the lusty love story Sir Robert Hart did not want the world to discover.

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Crime and the Law – Thirty Years in China

November 17, 2010

A discussion at the China Law Blog launched my investigation of crime and corruption in China. This post is one of several on this topic as a response to a few stereotypical comments at the China Law Blog discussion such as:

amp 5 said, “I’ve also asked my Chinese friends about this and the answer I usually get is along the lines of ‘The CCP is our version of the mafia’.”

Sun Kim said, “Ragtag groups that undoubtedly operate with the unspoken approval of the provincial government and/or the CCP as they ultimately help support the economy, albeit in shady terms.”

Rui Ramosu said, “The difference being, as someone above quite cogently noted, is that the government is ultimately able to control the organized crime, but turns a blind eye to it as long as it stays under control.”

James G said, “And China hasn’t really done a good job of eliminating organized crime. They have done a superb job or hiding it from foreigners, though.”

In fact, these comments are all wrong and are perfect examples of ignorant people parroting the Sinophobia and fear of Communism that exists in America and other Western nations.

Soon after 1949 until 1982, China was drug free and had to deal with few of the crimes that have plagued America and other nations for centuries.

It wasn’t until China opened its doors to world trade in the early 1980s that organized crime and corruption returned to China on a large scale.

Thirty years later, China’s growing legal system and police now deal with prostitution, gambling, drugs and all the rest just as the US and other nations in the free world have done for centuries.

In the last decade since my first trip to China, I’ve discovered that greedy individuals and groups in the smaller cities and remote provinces conduct most of the serious crime in China.

Since the Communist Party has more than 70 million members, it makes sense that some will be involved in illegal activities and thousands have already been convicted and dealt with.

China’s infant legal system was first launched in the early 1980s in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou (Canton) and other major cities. From that start, the legal system has slowly spread to the remote areas of China.

One step toward developing a modern police and legal system happened in 1984 when China became a member of Interpol, and Mr. Zhu En Tao, a member of the Communist Party of China, was appointed Deputy Director of the China Centre, Interpol.

Here are a few examples that show what China is doing to combat crime and corruption in China and internationally.

China has executed 72 people over the past week for drug trafficking offences…. Source:, June 2000

In 1994, New York resident Nguyen Hao Duc allegedly planned in cold blood, then carried out the murder of two innocent young men as part of a narcotics conspiracy. He then fled, settling eventually in the Pearl Delta area of Guangdong Province and supported by associates in the United States who sent him monthly living expenses.…

Based on information provided by the FBI to the Chinese officials, Nguyen was located…. In short order, officers of Guangdong’s Public Security Bureau arrested him in the town of Jiangmen, predicated on a Foreign Police Cooperation request made by the FBI Legal Attaché stationed in Beijing.

Then, on July 20, 2003, officers of the Ministry of Public Security transferred custody of Nguyen to two FBI Agents and a New York Police Detective, and Nguyen returned this month to the United States to face trial. Source:, July 2003

China has been active in seeking international cooperation in the fight against corruption. Since 1998, Chinese prosecutors have captured a total of about 70 criminal corruption suspects from abroad through legal assistance channels with foreign countries… Chinese police have also seized more than 230 Chinese criminal suspects from more than 30 countries and regions during the 1993 to January 2005 period with the help of Interpol, the international police body. Source: Asia Times, Oct. 29, 2005

China’s anti-drug efforts in the past year resulted in the cracking of several key transnational drug trafficking cases and the planting of opium replacement crops in the “Golden Triangle” areas, China’s police said.  Source: People’s Daily, November 22, 2006

Almost 800 illegal gambling dens in China, Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand were raided in one of Interpol’s biggest co-ordinated crackdowns. Cars, bank cards, computers and mobile phones were also confiscated. The dens handled more than $150m in bets, Interpol said. Source:, July 2010

Between 2001 and 2005, Chinese police opened more than 28,000 trafficking cases, the Chinese government arrested more than 25,000 suspected traffickers, and rescued more than 35,000 victims. During 2006, China police investigated 3,371 trafficking cases; provincial governments rescued 371 victims and arrested 415 traffickers. China also cooperated with Vietnamese, Thai and Burmese authorities to rescue victims. Source: Human

Discover more about Growing China’s Legal System


Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of the concubine saga, My Splendid Concubine & Our Hart. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too.

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