Sex doll-sharing service in China shut down less than a week after launch

Harsh criticisms bombard the company's 'vulgar' introduction of five sex dolls.

touch sex dolls in china
New sex doll-sharing service in China has been suspended following backlash. (HT News/YouTube)

A Chinese startup on Thursday launched five 'girlfriends' in Beijing, but the high-profile publicity of their debut did not get past the harsh words of critics. Only four days since launched, the doll retail company announced the suspension of its doll-sharing service.

On Monday, Xiamen HaiBao Information Technology Co released an official statement announcing that it is shutting down the operation of Touch, the said sex-products retailer. There is no confirmation yet if the suspension is just temporary.

Also read: AI can detect sexuality of people based on photos, study reveals

"We are sorry to announce that Touch will suspend the operation of its 'girlfriend sharing' service," reads the statement.

Touch provides for-rent sex dolls of four varying descents, including Chinese, Korean, Russian and Hong Kong. A Wonder Woman doll was also introduced at the launch event.

Xiamen HaiBao was supposedly scheduled to launch the service nationwide after a test in Beijing.

"Soon after the 'girlfriend sharing service' launched, it triggered intensive attention and heated discussion online," reads the statement. "We were informed by relevant authorities and voluntarily cooperate with all the investigations and accept the punishment."

The company further stated that complaints from the general public and authorities spurred them to withdraw the service as some even called them a "bad influence on society". In an interview with a Chinese publication, Touch admitted that a staff was summoned to a local police station during one of the dolls' promotional event in the city as the sex dolls on display were too "vulgar".

Touch said they will be issuing double refunds to those who pre-ordered the dolls. The dolls in question are life-sized silicone-made. Each doll costs around US$1,500, which was advertised to be rentable daily for US$45.

This article was first published on September 19, 2017