Hong Kong trio found guilty of running social media site that offered sexual services
Judge dismisses programmer’s claim that website simply allowed men to hook up with women for a chat
Two men and a woman were found guilty of running a social media platform that offered men sexual services.
Programmer Fung Ka-chun contended that the forum under www.hkbigman.net was meant for male members to browse female members’ information and request they meet up. But District Court Judge Alex Lee Wan-tang disagreed.
“I have no doubt that if there had been no female members offering themselves for sexual services, few people would be prepared to spend their money ... on membership,” the judge said in a written verdict handed down on Thursday.
He convicted Fung, 33, of living on the earnings of prostitution.
Szeto Ka-fai, 34, a moderator for the website, and Choi Ka-yi, who found girls to work as freelance prostitutes and was an adviser to Fung, were each found guilty of aiding, abetting, counselling and procuring for Fung.
The court heard that the website offered information from news to finance and also featured an adult forum that operated on a membership system.
Women were required to be “26, or below, not ugly and with curvy figures”. Those who joined were classified into three categories according to age and appearance.
Male membership was available for free but including options with one-off fees of up to HK$8,000 – which decided their access to various categories of female members, many of which contained sexual details and prices.
Instead of asking female members to provide details of their education, work and hobbies, if the forum genuinely was a friend-matching site, the site contained pictures of women in sexy clothing, the judge noted.
The trio were arrested after an undercover police operation in 2014.
At the trial, Fung argued that his earnings came from male members rather than women and that he did not care whether sexual transactions took place. He had no control over female members, he contested.
But the judge wrote: “The suggestion that people may spend money just to browse female information or call girls out for a chat is, with due respect, unrealistic to say the least.”
He said Fung intended the forum to be a platform to facilitate prostitution. Its business model was based on the number of paid male members, which in turn depended on the number and quality of female members, he said.
The judge concluded that Fung had lived, if not fully, in part on the earnings of prostitution.
He called for community service reports on Fung and Sezto, who both had university educations, and Choi, before sentencing on November 11.