'Sauna' messages know no bounds

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 16 March, 2010, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 16 March, 2010, 12:00am
 

The mobile phone numbers of central government leaders are meant to be a state secret, but this has not stopped Dongguan's resourceful sex industry from getting hold of them.

'Messages promoting saunas [a euphemism for sexual services] are often sent to the mobile phones of central government leaders, and provincial and city leaders,' said Dongguan health bureau vice-chief Jin Hangzhong , according to the Southern Metropolis News.

'If this doesn't stop, I'll be held liable and so will you,' he told health officers at a conference, urging them to take the crackdown on saunas seriously. This task has become the health department's responsibility since the end of last year.

Jin did not specify how high up the central government ladder these 'sauna' messages had penetrated.

In the past decade, Dongguan has become known not only for the size, but also the sophistication, of its thriving sex industry. The telecommunications sector is just one of the supporting industries to have boomed, thanks to it.

For 200 yuan (HK$230), one can send short messages to all 7,000 private car owners in the Pearl River Delta, a mobile phone short message company told the Southern Metropolis Weekly in December.

According to Li Xiaowei, another Dongguan health official, only 130 saunas have proper licences in the city, but the actual number of saunas is several times that. Last year more than 80 saunas and public bath houses were closed down.

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