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China: Around The Nation

Chinese sex doll sharing service suspended after police order ‘vulgar’ displays to be removed

Tech firm issues apology after high-profile launch of service that allowed users to choose from five ‘girlfriends’

PUBLISHED : Monday, 18 September, 2017, 4:03pm
UPDATED : Monday, 18 September, 2017, 4:31pm

A sex doll sharing service that triggered heated discussions in China has been suspended just four days after it was launched.

“We are sorry to announce that Touch will suspend the operation of its ‘girlfriend sharing’ service,” Xiamen HaiBao Information Technology Co, the developer of Touch, a Chinese sex-products retailer, said in a statement on Monday.

The company launched the service in Beijing on Thursday. It would have allowed users to rent sex dolls, including Hong Kong, Russian, Chinese and Korean dolls as well as an Amazon-like “Wonder Woman” with sword and shield.

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All five types of sex dolls were on display during the launch event.

The life-size silicone dolls, which usually cost over 10,000 yuan (US$1,500) each, were promoted as available for short-term companionship with a daily rental fee of 298 yuan after users paid a deposit of 8,000 yuan, local media reports said.

Touch earlier said that it planned to launch the service nationwide after a trial in the capital.

“Soon after the ‘girlfriend sharing service’ launched, it triggered intensive attention and heated discussion online,” the statement said. “We were informed by relevant authorities and voluntarily cooperate with all the investigations and accept the punishment.”

The company said the decision to withdraw the service was made after complaints about its “bad influence on society” and expressed its sincere apologies.

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Touch told news portal tech.sina.com.cn that staff for the promotional event in the Sanlitun shopping and entertainment area of the city were summoned to a local police station.

There they were questioned and asked to write a letter guaranteeing they would take away all the sex dolls on display, which police said were too “vulgar”, it said.

It remains unclear if other services from Touch had been affected.

The company said it would refund all deposits and return double the fees paid as damages.

“Sex itself is not vulgar,” the company said in the statement.