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"It's Really Hard In China" – Sex Doll Rental Business Withdraws From Market After Just A Week

As we warned over the weekend, when we first learned of Beijing’s new sex doll rental business, China’s sharing economy may have just jumped the shark.

Now, just 4 days later, after its business model elicited a flood of complaints and criticism, Chinese company Ta Qu – or “Touch” in English – has announced that it will close its week-old sex-doll rental business, inspiring budget-focused silicon slammers in the world’s second-largest economy to issue a collective groan.

Touch began offering five different sex doll types for daily or longer-term rent last Thursday in Beijing. But according to the BBC,“it quickly drew complaints and criticism.”

The company said in a statement on Weibo that it “sincerely apologized for the negative impact” of its business model.

But the company added that sex is “not vulgar” and said it would keep working towards more people enjoying it. The company said it had generated “a lot of interest and requests” during its short-lived run.

Unfortunately for entrepreneurs hoping to enter China’s thriving sex-toy industry, the company noted that succeeding in that industry “is really hard in China.”

“We prepared ten dolls for the trial operation,” a company spokesperson said via email, adding that they received very positive feedback from users.

“But it’s really hard in China,” the firm wrote, saying there had been a lot of controversy with the police over the issue.

The company had offered the sex dolls for a daily fee of 298 yuan (about $50), according to Chinese media. It also sells an array of sex toys and dolls, according to the BBC.

Here’s what that would’ve bought you:




In its Weibo statement, the firm said its original intention had been to make expensive silicone dolls more affordable but conceded that the service triggered a heated public debate. The company also said it would pay out compensation to users worth double the amount they had paid as a deposit for reserving a doll.

The statement added that Touch would in future pay more attention to its “social duty”, and would actively promote a “healthier and more harmonious sex lifestyle”.

The Chinese app was launched in 2015 as a platform for discussing issues about sex and sexuality before “pivoting” into sales.

As we reported earlier in the week, the company planned to offer five models to choose from: “Greek bikini model,” “US Wonder Woman,” “Korean housewife,” “Russian teenager” and “Hong Kong car race cheerleader.” Users can customize the dolls to their liking by picking out hair and eye color, as well as their outfits.

For those asking the obvious question, the company states that it also has hygiene on its mind, as explained by their official policy.

“The dolls’ lower parts are changed for every customer,” reads the app. “Please remove the lower parts before returning. After the lower parts are cleaned, the doll can be used repeatedly.”

The company hoped to capitalize on China’s notorious gender imbalance favoring men, as well as the country’s thriving online gaming culture, which breeds hordes of lonely young men.

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