The series follows the hunt for evidence to back up reports that the Chinese government has tried to improperly influence American politics. Newsweek discovered the identity of the man who was the most likely conduit for Chinese funds to U.S. politicians: an obscure Los Angeles-based businessman named Ted Sioeng. He has strong ties to the mainland, including a pro-Beijing newspaper in Los Angeles, exclusive rights to import a popular brand of Chinese cigarettes and a close friendship with the Chinese consul general in Los Angeles. This was the first story to identify Sioeng and his possible improprieties. The coverage stimulated federal grand jury and FBI investigations of Sioeng's actions.