In a move towards a more liberal criminal justice system, the Chinese criminal procedure law (CPL) was amended in 2012 to redistribute the power between state agents and private participants. However, the enforcement of this law is still influenced by the power imbalance between the public and private participants. This article argues that strong authorities together with weak social participation have led to the emergence of several trends in the enforcement of the amended CPL. This article concludes by reflecting on the unbalanced relationships between public and private participants, and reveals the underlying causes.