Chinese e-commerce site removes paedophiliac sex doll after outrage

PUBLISHED : Monday, 18 November, 2013, 12:54pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 19 November, 2013, 7:03am

DHgate, a Chinese e-commerce platform, has deactivated the account of a Chinese retailer of child-like sex dolls after a social media campaign by a rights advocacy group stirred outrage.

An online seller based in Fujian province was selling silicone dolls resembling pre-teen girls on the retailing platform. The “real life baby doll” was advertised in children’s clothing and photographed next to children’s toys. It sold wholesale for US$178 per piece.

DHgate’s Facebook page was flooded with hundreds of messages criticising the sale of the child-like dolls after the New Jersey-based anti-human trafficking advocacy group Dining for Dignity launched a social media campaign against the product on Friday.

By Sunday evening, the silicone product was no longer on sale and the seller’s account had been deactivated.

DHgate “is against the selling of products that promote paedophilia,” a company spokesperson told Kelly Master, Dining for Dignity’s founder, in an emailed statement on Sunday. “Product listings for ‘child-like sex dolls’ have been removed.”

Kelly told the South China Morning Post the widespread outrage was vital to bring about the closure of the online store. “I wrote [DHgate] first, they didn’t respond to me,” said Kelly. “They blocked me and removed my comments [on Facebook], but then they started to get inundated with hundreds and hundreds of comments.”

The seller of the dolls, identified as AllanChow89, had been active since 2011, according to his profile on the platform. He had 89 child-like dolls in stock and completed 242 transactions overall, a cached copy of his profile shows.

Kelly said she had also received links to the same doll sold on online shopping sites operated by Alibaba, China's largest e-commerce company. A search online shows several childlike sex dolls on sale on Taobao, an Alibaba platform. One advertised by a retailer in Qingdao, Shandong province, sells for 90 yuan (HK$115).  

Kelly is preparing a similar campaign to pressure China’s largest e-commerce company to follow suit and stop the sale of these dolls online.

She said she is confident the e-commerce platforms will react to public pressure. “When you have thousands of thousands of people writing on social media, it can impact your sales,” she said.

DHgate did not immediately reply to a written request for comment. An Alibaba spokesperson said the company does not allow such products to be sold on its e-commerce platform. “Should any related listings be found, they will immediately be removed and members penalised,” she said in an emailed statement.

 

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