Yang Dacai, a Chinese safety official, came under the scrutiny of bloggers, known in China as "flesh searchers" after a photograph showed him "smirking" at the scene of traffic accident in Shaanxi that left 36 dead.
The bloggers found images of the civil servant wearing luxury watches. According to the Telegraph, one of the watches was a Constantin worth £20,000 ($32,000). In total the photographs showed Dacai wearing 11 different luxury watches, according to Xinhua. The images were seen as symbolic of a corrupt officialdom, indifferent to the needs of ordinary Chinese people.
Mr Dacai responded to the campaign by posting explanations on his Weibo microblog, claiming that he had bought the watches with his own "legal" money.
However, the Internet campaign resulted in an official Communist Party investigation into Yang Dacai's financial affairs. The disciplinary committee was not convinced by Dacai's claims. As BBC News reports, Shaanxi province officials issued a statement on Friday, asserting that Mr Dacai has been stripped of all "official duties" on the ground of "serious wrongdoing". The investigation into Dacai's financial affairs is, according to the Party statement, continuing.
Whilst many people in China have expressed satisfaction at the downfall of Mr Dacai, others have been less sanguine. Cao Xuecx wrote:
Out of millions of corrupt officials, he just ran straight at the barrel of media and bloggers.