Regulating private affairs in contemporary China: Private investigators and the policing of spousal infidelity

SAGE Publications
Publication Type:
Journal Article
China Information, 2010, 22 (2), pp. 149 - 167
Issue Date:
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This article examines the recent emergence of Chinas private investigation industry, focusing on investigators of spousal infidelity. It outlines the professed business rationales of private investigators that target women experiencing marital crises, including claims that they provide a necessary social service, protect womens rights, promote anti-corruption measures, and uphold Chinese law. It also details growing criticisms of Chinas infidelity sleuths for violating Chinese law and citizens rights. Finally, the article examines some of the proposed responses to the problems associated with private investigators and the policing of infidelity. The demand for such services highlights the laissez-faire position that economic reform has increasingly forced Chinas governmental authorities to assume with regard to regulating the private affairs of Chinese citizens.
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