(Yicai Global) Sept. 18 -- Public pressure has pushed a Chinese startup to suspend its service called Gongxiang Nvyou, meaning ‘shared girlfriend,’ TechWeb reported.
The app’s operator, Xiamen Haibao Taqu Information Technology Co. [NEEQ:837472] (Haibao Taqu), said today that it will halt access to shared doll services in the Taqu app.
Haibao Taqu said it regrets the negative social impact of the ‘girlfriend’ sharing app, especially ahead of the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China.
The firm said it will fully refund users who have completed reservations and put down deposits and pay them double what they have paid as default penalty.
“The initial purposed of the ‘shared girlfriend’ service was to let more people enjoy sex and let the expensive realistic silicone dolls enter more people’s lives,” the company said. After receiving a notice from regulators, the firm cooperated with authorities and accepted its punishment.
Haibao Taqu put dolls on the market via the ‘shared girlfriend’ app on Sept. 14. Users could customize their doll reservation by selecting a hairstyle, an eye color and a skin tone; ordering outfits and props; and choosing whether the doll should be warmed up.
After putting down a deposit of USD1,219 (CNY8,000), renters could borrow a doll, paying USD45 (CNY298) for one day, CNY698 for three days or CNY1,298 for a week.
While the app attracted attention, Haibao Taqu was fined by Beijing’s Sanlitun police station for “disrupting social security with dumbed-down activities” on the first day of its release. Police ordered the company’s salespersons to provide a written self-review and take the sex toys away from Beijing.
Haibao Taqu is listed on China’s National Equities Exchange and Quotations Co., a trading platform for shares in small and medium-sized companies known as the New Third Board. The group is mainly engaged in the online distribution of sex products.