A video showing a dozen women suspected of being prostitutes receiving social media training has gone viral on Chinese video sites.
The video is called Exposed: ‘prostitutes’ get social media training It shows a female “lecturer” delivering a tutorial to a group of women explaining how they can “market themselves” and “attract quality clients”.
“All of you want to have more clients - more tips, right?” the lecturer says on the video. “I will teach you how to use social networking media skills to expand your client base.”
“Whether it is Momo or WeChat, or Weibo, they are all very easy to use,” she adds, referring to three popular social media services in China. Momo is a smart phone application allowing users to communicate with people close by, whom they have not met before. It is sometimes used by people seeking casual sex.
In the video “tutorial” one woman asks for a PowerPoint copy of the lecture.
The video ends with the “lecturer” teaching the women ways to select profile pictures for social media applications.
The video appeared online several days ago. It has now gone viral on the internet across China. It has been visible on all of China’s major video sites and online forums since Thursday. It is still not known who initially uploaded it.
On Youku.com, one of China’s most popular video websites, it generated about 370,000 hits within 48 hours.
According to comments on the video, most netizens believe the women are prostitutes. But many internet users said they admired the women’s for learning about modern technology.
One said: “I feel under pressure. Even prostitutes receive media training to learn new marketing skills. If [we] don’t learn this, [we] will be left behind,” the netizen said on sohu.com.
Prostitution is still illegal in the mainland, but “sex workers” operate in most cities. They often work discreetly in entertainment venues, such as night clubs, bars, salons, and massage parlours.