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Master Kang

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Master Kong brand logo. (Source: masterkong.com.cn)
Zhou Yongkang as Master Kang. (Source: renminbao.com)

康师傅 (Kāng Shīfu) Master Kang

Nickname for Zhou Yongkang, former public security chief and close ally of fallen Chongqing party secretary Bo Xilai. Reports that Zhou is the subject of a massive government corruption probe emerged in August 2013, but the investigation was not officially announced until July 29, 2014. Netizens refer to the retired Politburo Standing Committee member as “Master Kang” in the midst of censorship directives forbidding such discussion.

Example:

Xiangshanhongyepiao (@香山红叶飘): Let's guess: who has Master Kang ratted out while he is in prison?

猜猜:康师傅在牢里装疯卖傻供出了谁?[Chinese]

The name “Master Kang” is simultaneously a historical, political, and pop cultural reference. Kang Shifu (康师傅 Kāng Shīfu) is the brand name used by packaged food company Tingyi (Cayman Islands) Holding Corporation, the largest instant noodle producer operating in mainland China. When “Master Kang” is blocked from Weibo search results, netizens resort to calling Zhou “instant noodles” (方便面 fāngbiànmiàn). Tingyi markets their products under the English name Master Kong.

Master Kang also alludes to Kang Sheng (康生), Zhou’s early predecessor as security chief. A first generation official and close ally to Mao Zedong, Kang was posthumously disgraced and expelled from the Party for his role in the Cultural Revolution and his early criticism of Deng Xiaoping.

See also King Who Pacified the West and movie star.