Dongguan bids to clean up its act - again

Updated: 2014-02-12 09:46

By Qiu Quanlin in Dongguan, Cui Jia, Tang Yue and Yang Wanli in Beijing (China Daily)

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Underground exposed

Undercover video footage aired by China Central Television on Feb 9 showed a common method for presenting women to potential clients in Dongguan. In the video, the host of a live model show introduces the style and specialties of each woman on a stage while guests relax on comfortable sofas. The scene is repeated in sauna clubs, massage parlors and even five-star hotels.Dongguan bids to clean up its act - again

"There is not enough meat to feed the wolves, so hurry when picking the girls," a host said in one recording.

Target sex trade bosses

In many cases where power has been involved with criminal gangs, local officials or police officers have proved to be protectors or bosses in the illegal sex industry.

Women in see-through and tight clothing took turns walking to the front of the stage, posing for a few seconds to be ogled by prospective customers. Others stood in a line at the back, awaiting their turns. Each woman carried a small handbag and was ready to take a client to a hotel room promptly once picked.

In the sensuous marketplace, each woman carries a number indicating the price of her services. For example, a 9 means 900 yuan for two hours of standard service that includes exotic dancing and sex.

Every move in the business has its price. A client has to pay extra if he wants the woman to keep a smile on her face.

Some of the high-end Dongguan sex suppliers even use a feedback system for quality control. Clients are asked to rate the women's performances in various categories, and those who consistently score low are fined.

Women cost between 400 yuan and 1,500 yuan ($66 to $248) based on their looks and "talents". Their prime targets are high-end customers, including local factory owners and sex tourists who travel to Dongguan from elsewhere - Guangzhou or Hong Kong, for example.

"Our business has been greatly affected. We had to suspend it because there are fewer customers," said a human resources manager at a foot massage center near the Yuanfeng Hotel.

In one Sauna club visited by an undercover news reporter, women were taking turns pole dancing to pop singer Lady Gaga's Paparazzi under flashing lights behind a big one-way mirror. The client could see the women but the women couldn't see the client.

A curtain over the mirror is a standard feature in guest rooms. Staff members pull the curtain up and dim the lights when clients enter the room to choose women. If clients are not happy with the first batch, the curtain is pulled down and new women appear when it rises again a few moments later.

Some staff members assured the reporter that there was no need to worry about a police raid.

After the CCTV news report was aired, 162 purveyors of sex were arrested in a sweep involving 6,525 police officers, local authorities said. People involved in prostitution can be detained for 10 to 15 days and fined 5,000 yuan.

All local police station chiefs who were in charge of districts where illicit entertainment venues were operating have been suspended pending further investigation in the early stages of a province-wide campaign that will last three months. The public security bureau will inspect all venues and hit prostitution, gambling and drug activities, according to a press release posted on Dongguan's official website on Monday.

Authorities said they will also look into cases in which officers allegedly did not respond to the undercover news reporter's calls to a police hotline to report prostitution.

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