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Trending in China: Authorities Shut Down First Sex Doll ‘Brothel’- Exploiting a Legal Loophole or Fulfilling a Human Need?

By Han Xu / Mar 19, 2021 02:12 PM / Society & Culture

What’s trending?

Ai Ai Land, the first silicon sex doll experience ‘brothel’ in China, has been shut down by Shenzhen officials. The police who directed the operation did not provide any reason or details but some legal experts suggested that they targeted the brothel out of hygienic concerns. The hashtag #the-first-silicon-sex-doll-experience-house-was-shut-down# has been viewed over 150 million times on Weibo.

What’s the story?

Li Bo, the owner of Ai Ai Land, launched his sex doll service two y ears ago. According to Zhengguan News, the brothel is close to the Shenzhen Foxconn factory complex, where over 80% of the workers and around 120,000 residents nearby were men. Li said that he felt that meeting the sexual needs of single men was important.

Real-human prostitution is strictly prohibited in China and according to Chinese Criminal Law, the act of arranging or providing prostitution can be punished by “fixed-term imprisonment of not less than five years but not more than 10 years.”.

However, there are no laws that explicitly restrict non-human sex services. Spotting the loophole, Li opened the first silicon brothel in China. In order not to commit the offence of distributing obscene materials, he even removed the speakers from the dolls. He charged the customers 188 yuan/hour ($28) and told them not to develop emotional attachments with the dolls. Li claimed that in the past two years, thousands of customers have visited Ai Ai Land.

What are people saying online?

Ever since its debut, the sex doll brothel has been under the spotlight. People on the internet not only worried that the existence of such places challenged Chinese moral standards, but also the hygiene conditions could not be guaranteed and regulated.

“It has to be shut down! What a terrible influence on my kids if they see a brothel on the street,” read one popular comment. One Weibo user also said, “The owner cannot make sure if he sanitised the dolls thoroughly. The doll house is a great danger to public health.”

But some also expressed that they felt confused why some people refuse to acknowledge that humans need sex. One popular comment read that “sexual needs are nothing to be ashamed of. The real problem is how can we make the place safer and more hygienic for customers.”

Related: Trending in China: Billionaire Child Sex Abuse Trial Triggers National Debate

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