When I discovered the idea of the naked official I was pondering the similarity that the Chinese have with the Irish. In both cases immigration is part of their psyche. Reading an article in Sina.com, I was reminded of one particular tranche of Chinese immigration. The immigration that happened prior to, and after the handover of Hong Kong. A number of rich and middle class families chose to move to Canada and other countries. The families lived in places with large existing Chinese communities like Vancouver and the patriarch would often commute to do business back in Hong Kong. These commuters were nicknamed astronauts because they spent so much time in the air.
A trend for the families of Chinese officials to conduct a similar kind of transplanted lifestyle has spawned a new term of naked official. A number of officials whose families had emigrated abroad (presumably beyond the reach of the state) were subsequently convicted of charges relating to them abusing their position. Naked officials are considered to be suspicious of preparing a bolt-hole abroad. Although moving abroad is a widely held middle class Chinese aspiration.
More China related topics here.
Kudos to Xinhua via Sina.com: China keeps a watchful eye on officials with family members living abroad