Called “black prisons” here, one hears many stories about country folk imprisoned in “off the books” jails. That’s messed up, but this is scarier x 100:
… you have is a private concern (the real estate companies) colluding with a government (the city leaders) to perform illegal activities backed with their own private army that answers only to them. Black prisons can always be closed once you discover them but shutting down or out the cabal that created them is much, much more difficult.
You need to read this RIGHT NOW.
The Black China Hand’s story here sketches a Chinese system where the wronged expect no support from their local government — they expect involving them will make it worse — and a public / private cabal (his words) is able to prevent victims of serious and systematic abuse, from appealing to any Chinese seat of power that might take their side.
These stories sneak out in ways like this every once and a while, but there are sources that sugget problems like this are widespread, such as this map, which shows reported events of violence evictions and other type events, which I found via Shanghaiist
These issues of social justice — protecting the communities from predatory private interests — must be on the minds of the politburo. I can’t imagine they’re missing this. These conflicts, which often afflict the lower middle class (but also make way for them), must be addressed or China’s mega-cities will be built on a significant amount of violence.