The arrest of Zhou Yongkang and his extended family members is the highest-ranking corruption arrest from the Chinese Communist Party.

The New York Times back in April had an excellent breakdown of who has been snared and what it could mean:

Some political analysts argue that a leader of Mr. Zhou’s status would not face an inquiry of this kind unless Mr. Xi regarded him as a direct threat to his power. In other words, Mr. Zhou is the loser in a political struggle. His family’s financial dealings lost their immunity only because Mr. Zhou fell from favor, not because elite business dealings were being criminalized.

But another school of thought is that Mr. Xi considers the enormous agglomeration of wealth by spouses, children and siblings of top-ranking officials a threat to China’s stability by encouraging mercenary corruption and harming the party’s public standing. Those people say he has pushed the Zhou investigation beyond traditional bounds to signal that the rules have changed and that top leaders will be held responsible for their family’s business activities, even though Mr. Xi’s own family members have been among those who have grown rich.

Put me in the first camp. The corruption in China is so rampant and out-of-control that even making an example out of Zhou would be pointless. Beside, the estimates of his family’s ill-gotten wealth fall short of other officials by an order of magnitude.

The NYT estimates (albeit conservatively) that his families businesses are worth $160 million. Compare that with 83 members of the People’s Congress who are personally worth more than $1 billion.