State media China Central Television's (CCTV) report on the flourishing sex industry in China’s manufacturing hub Dongguan City has triggered mockery and ridicule on Chinese social media.
The 25-minute report video details the city’s rampant prostitution. Using concealed cameras, the report showed women lining up for selection by customers in hotels and karaoke bars known as KTVs, and accused local police of ignoring prostitution and allowing the industry to thrive.
After the report, a 6,000-strong force reportedly raided 12 hotels and entertainment venues, leading to 67 arrests.
Dongguan is well-known as a hub for the sex industry, with 10 percent of the population said to be employed in the industry.
The CCTV report was widely watched across China and generated large amounts of comments on social media. On microblogging website Sina Weibo, “Dong Guan” became the most researched word on February 9, 2014. Many online celebrities and netizens wrote that they thought CCTV was reporting an open secret, some even mocking that it serves as a good tourism ad for the city. Others worried that the report is only targeting vulnerable people.
Tencent news commentator “Liu Yanwei” wrote [zh]:
There is much more important news to report about in China, I’ve never seen the CCTV reporters reporting it.
Online celebrity “Wuyue Sanren” [zh] commented:
Sex workers are vulnerable in this society, so even if I plan to expose the industry, I will only investigate the reasons behind it. I will not try to attract an audience and gain popularity by shooting them dancing. A huge organization of abundant media resources shouldn’t report the news this way. When you shoot them dancing, do you not understand that you’re embarrassing your own profession and doing a spiritual strip yourself?
“Miracledemocracy” analyzed the stories behind the prostitution:
Today after watching the CCTV report, I feel very uncomfortable. Thoughts as follows: 1) Who wants to be a prostitute if they can live a good life, there’s such a huge gap between the rich and the poor. 2) Chinese society’s imbalanced gender ratio at birth; the economic reforms and construction forced many people to leave their own homes. 3) This is a mistake caused by the system made by upper society, but the people at the bottom have to pay for it.
“Zhongguo Zuozhuan” echoed the same sentiment:
The bureaucratic society forced many people to embark on this path, on the contrary, the bureaucrats pretend to show justice by attacking these people. . . . . We need a sound system to eliminate corruption rather than fake justice!
Journalist Liu Xiangnan wrote:
I despise CCTV for not pixelating the girls in the report during their unannounced visits, same with tonight’s news about the police crackdown on the prostitutes. This is disregard for human rights and human dignity!