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  1. #1
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    [EN] Sex doll sharing service suspended four days after it was launched



    The life-size silicone dolls, which usually cost over 10,000 yuan (US$1,500) each, were promoted as available for short-term companionship with a daily rental fee of 298 yuan after users paid a deposit of 8,000 yuan

    Laura Zhou
    18 September, 2017

    A sex doll sharing service that triggered heated discussions in China has been suspended just four days after it was launched.

    “We are sorry to announce that Touch will suspend the operation of its ‘girlfriend sharing’ service,” Xiamen HaiBao Information Technology Co, the developer of Touch, a Chinese sex-products retailer, said in a statement on Monday.

    The company launched the service in Beijing on Thursday. It would have allowed users to rent sex dolls, including Hong Kong, Russian, Chinese and Korean dolls as well as an Amazon-like “Wonder Woman” with sword and shield.

    All five types of sex dolls were on display during the launch event.

    The life-size silicone dolls, which usually cost over 10,000 yuan (US$1,500) each, were promoted as available for short-term companionship with a daily rental fee of 298 yuan after users paid a deposit of 8,000 yuan, local media reports said.

    Touch earlier said that it planned to launch the service nationwide after a trial in the capital.

    “Soon after the ‘girlfriend sharing service’ launched, it triggered intensive attention and heated discussion online,” the statement said. “We were informed by relevant authorities and voluntarily cooperate with all the investigations and accept the punishment.”

    The company said the decision to withdraw the service was made after complaints about its “bad influence on society” and expressed its sincere apologies.

    Touch told news portal tech.sina.com.cn that staff for the promotional event in the Sanlitun shopping and entertainment area of the city were summoned to a local police station.

    There they were questioned and asked to write a letter guaranteeing they would take away all the sex dolls on display, which police said were too “vulgar”, it said.

    It remains unclear if other services from Touch had been affected.

    The company said it would refund all deposits and return double the fees paid as damages.

    “Sex itself is not vulgar,” the company said in the statement.

    http://www.scmp.com/news/china/socie...r-police-order

  2. #2
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    Chinese city halts electric bike-sharing services



    Authorities in Hangzhou take action over concerns regarding bikes’ quality and lack of training on how to ride them

    Laurie Chen
    18 September, 2017

    A city in eastern China has suspended five electric bike-sharing services amid safety concerns, state media reported.

    The authorities in Hangzhou in Zhejiang province acted amid fears that some of the bikes did not meet national safety standards and some rechargeable batteries were a potential fire hazard, Xinhua reported.

    The authorities were also concerned that customers were not given training on how to ride the bikes safely, according to the article.

    The city government was quoted as saying that the massive number of normal bikes used in bicycle sharing services had also brought chaos to Hangzhou in recent months.

    Five large electric bike-sharing firms have been told by city officials to halt operations. The report did not make clear when services might be resumed. There are 2,590 shared electric bikes in Hangzhou, the article said.

    Bike-sharing schemes have proved massively popular in China, but authorities around the country have started taking action to limit the number of cycles on the streets. Many litter pavements after use, or block bike lanes and other rights of way.

    Beijing became the latest Chinese city to ban new shared bikes this month.

    http://www.scmp.com/news/china/socie...d-safety-fears

  3. #3
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    Why China’s bike-sharing boom is causing headaches



    Josh Ye
    24 April, 2017

    China’s bike-sharing boom has put millions of new bicycles on city streets now mainly designed for cars, and that’s causing problems in a country previously known as the “kingdom of bicycles”.

    The mainland is now home to more about 40 dockless shared-bike start-ups whose smartphone apps give people access to a network of bikes for as little as one yuan (14.5 US cents) an hour. The charges are paid via digital wallets and GPS-tracking devices on the bikes mean they can be left anywhere at the end of a ride.

    The biggest operator, Ofo, has 2.2 million bikes in 43 mainland cities, according to Reuters.

    Mobike, the second-biggest, officially launched its first service, in Shanghai, just a year ago. It now has more than 1 million bicycles on the mainland in 33 cities, according to Xinhua, and plans to expand to more than 100 cities, at home and abroad, by the end of the year.

    But while the bike-sharing apps are convenient for users, the industry is giving many local governments daily headaches. Problems such as illegal parking remain unanswered, and some experts say that’s largely because many cities were not designed to be bike-friendly.

    Shenzhen Bay Park has taken the lead to ban share bikes during public holidays after it was littered with tens of thousands of them last Monday during the Ching Ming break, according to the Southern Metropolis News. The park said on Friday that it would continue to enforce the ban during future holidays.


    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1_qwBpy2JqM

    Yang Fengchun, an associate professor at Peking University’s school of government, said piles of bikes dumped outside subway stations were now a common sight because many city planners had never thought to include parking facilities nearby.

    “From about 20 years ago, China has turned its automobile industry into a pillar industry,” he said. “Therefore, you see Chinese cities today are built for the convenience of cars. Cities are very unfriendly for bikes.”

    To address the problem of illegally parked and misplaced bikes, operators reward users who report them with app credits.




    Self-declared “bike hunters” have also formed social media groups where they can share information.

    The organiser of one group, museum director Zhuang Ji, said it now had more than 2,000 members and that one member had reported 69 misplaced bikes in one day.

    He said “new cities” spawned in the past decade as a result of China’s rapid urbanisation were more affected by the shared bike plague because their city planners had only designed road networks for the benefit of car drivers.

    “There are not enough pavements and bike lanes,” he said, “Even in many upscale neighbourhoods, where pavements were built they were built at the expense of bike lanes.”

    Zhuang’s group recently inspected 983 Ofo bikes in six cities – Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Wuhan and Chengdu – and found that 19 per cent were damaged, 15 per cent were unlocked, 12 per cent had been stolen for private use and 2 per cent were being ridden by children under the age of 12.

    The 22 young children spotted using Ofo bikes were all in Shenzhen, while illegal use was most prevalent in Guangzhou, where 55 per cent of bikes inspected had been stolen for private use.

    In a video of the inspection posted online, a group member in Guangzhou said many bikes had been dumped in alleyways, “essentially becoming city trash”.  

    State media have reported that a bike repair centre in Beijing now receives more than 400 damaged bikes a day, with a backlog of more than 4,000 bikes waiting to be repaired.

    Zou Jianyu, a shared bike user in Guangzhou, said he was seeing more and more shared bike riders on the city’s highways and streets, many of them children and some only in primary school.

    “They don’t know how to follow the basic traffic rules, which makes road safety all the more challenging for everyone,” he said.

    The government says children under the age of 12 should not be allowed to cycle on streets, but state media have reported that many primary school students around the country now cycle to school.

    On March 26, an 11-year-old boy died at a crossroads in central Shanghai after a coach ran over the Ofo bike he was riding, sparking public debate about who should be held responsible for such accidents.

    Ofo bikes are secured with combination locks, which can be defeated, and the company said it was working with the local government to make them more secure in order to prevent underage children from riding them.

    A Mobike spokesman said children under the age of 12 were barred from registering accounts on its app and so were unable to use its bikes. The app unlocks a bike after a QR code on the lock is scanned.

    Yang said local governments had been slow in finding effective measures to address the problems caused by shared bikes and needed to make cities more bike-friendly if the industry was to succeed.

    “Cities are keen to implement dockless shared bikes because they really help relieve traffic congestion,” he said, while warning that such schemes could “soon be met with resistance from the automobile industry”.




    http://www.scmp.com/news/china/socie...ssure-planners

  4. #4
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    Remember that sex doll sharing startup? It just got shut down

    Steven Millward
    Sep 18, 2017

    Just days after a Chinese startup launched a “girlfriend sharing” service involving sex dolls, the app has been shut down by authorities.

    The dolls were available though an app for rent on a daily basis for US$45. It offered five varieties: “Greek bikini model,” “US Wonder Woman,” “Korean housewife,” “Russian teenager,” and “Hong Kong race car cheerleader.”

    “We are sorry to announce that Ta Qu will suspend the operation of its ‘girlfriend sharing’ service,” said the startup in a notice posted to its Weibo, as spotted by South China Morning Post. “Soon after [it] launched, it triggered intensive attention and heated discussion online [and] we were informed by relevant authorities to cooperate voluntarily with all the investigations and accept the punishment.” The app’s store for sex toys – purchased, not rented – remains unaffected.

    The raunchy rental service was inspired by a wave of “sharing” startups in China, including bicycles and umbrellas.

    It’s unclear what charges are faced by the entrepreneurs, who were last week spotted promoting their sex doll rentals at a Beijing park, replete with a stage that featured the tagline “girlfriend sharing.”

    All deposits will be returned.

    https://www.techinasia.com/china-sex...g-app-shutdown

  5. #5
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    Sharing is the latest trend

    Sam Shead
    Sep. 18, 2017


    We share our cars, we share our homes, and we even share our dogs through companies that are all looking to cash in on this sharing craze.

    But there are probably some things that shouldn't be shared.

    A sex doll sharing service called Touch has been banned just four days after it launched in Beijing, according to The South China Morning Post.

    "We are sorry to announce that Touch will suspend the operation of its 'girlfriend sharing' service," Xiamen HaiBao Information Technology Co, the developer of Touch, reportedly said in a statement on Monday.

    Touch launched the service last Thursday, revealing five life-size silicone dolls that users could rent for 298 yuan ($45) a day. The dolls typically cost over 10,000 yuan ($1,500) each.

    Touch touted the sex dolls as objects that could be used for "short term companionship."

    The sex doll sharing service was hoping to expand across China after a trial in Beijing but things didn't go to plan. People reportedly complained to Chinese authorities that the company was a "bad influence on society."

    "Soon after the ‘girlfriend sharing service’ launched, it triggered intensive attention and heated discussion online," the statement seen by The South China Morning Post reportedly said. "We were informed by relevant authorities and voluntarily cooperate with all the investigations and accept the punishment."

    A report published in July found that sex robots and life-like sex dolls are becoming increasingly advanced and that they're far more prolific in society than people realise.

    Co-author Noel Sharkey, a professor of artificial intelligence (AI) and robotics at the University of Sheffield, said sex robots had a number of ethical implications when he revealed the report, called "Our Sexual Future with Robots".

    One example is using the robots as a kind of pre-emptive measure against rape.

    "The idea is robots would resist your sexual advances so that you could rape them," said Sharkey. "Some people say it's better they rape robots than rape real people. There are other people saying this would just encourage rapists more."

    Some of the sex robots on the market look incredibly human-like, he added. They're able to perform an increasing number of sexual acts including fellatio and male sex robots can "thrust" with a fake penis.

    http://www.businessinsider.com/touch...n-china-2017-9

  6. #6
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    Sharella.


    Solving ‘First-World Problems’

    Minister Ong lauded the quartet for their idea, citing it as an excellent example of Singaporeans taking ownership of problems and finding their own solutions.

    “When we see problems, we no longer ask: What’s the Government doing about it? Gradually, progressively, I’m seeing more and more people doing something about problems they face every day.”


    Zafirah Salim
    2017-09-11

    A few months ago, I wrote about some economy sharing ideas that millennials would like to see being implemented in Singapore.

    And out of the list of 10 ideas, I was personally rooting ardently for powerbank and umbrella sharing to happen here because these two are my utmost essentials.

    Well, my prayers have now been answered (partly) thanks to Sharella.

    Here’s the thing: we Singaporeans tend to take the weather for granted, always assuming it’s going to be sunny (hot and humid rather) all the time; but when it pours, it usually rains cats and dogs.

    Because the weather is so unpredictable, we don’t always carry an umbrella with us. And when that happens, we usually get stranded somewhere or end up getting drenched in the rain.

    Not A Single Umbrella Was Stolen During Trial

    Four final-year Republic Polytechnic students from the Design for User Experience course have come up with a brilliant idea to help others not get caught in the rain.

    Called Sharella, this initiative allows users to borrow umbrellas on rainy days whenever they need to cross the road.

    These umbrellas are placed in racks on both sides of the road, and users in need of a brolly can simply grab one for free!

    This graduation project of theirs was in collaboration with Land Transport Authority’s (LTA) Community Partnership division to aid Singapore’s transition towards a car-lite society.

    During a 10-day trial earlier this January, the team of four set up kiosks of 10 umbrellas along unsheltered paths near Woodlands and Admiralty MRT stations.

    It received a very good response from commuters, with around 200 people using the umbrellas in an hour.

    “We conducted the trials throughout both light drizzles and heavy downpours. There was a 100 per cent rate of return. No umbrellas were stolen,” said team member Chan Min Yi, 21.

    This is very surprising, considering that the same umbrella sharing initiative failed in China, with over 300,000 umbrellas going missing in a matter of just three months.

    According to Minister Ong Ye Kung, they’ve purposely “made the umbrellas quite ugly, so it’s not something you want to take away.”

    Elaborating on this, team member Don Chua, 20, said that they have used stickers to mark the Sharella umbrellas to make it easily identifiable.

    “So if any person do not return the umbrella back to where it belongs, everyone will know that he/she has stolen it,” he added.

    …But All 20 Umbrellas Went Missing During Official Launch

    Despite the good response during the trial period, it was surprising to note that all 20 umbrellas went missing on Sharella’s first day of official launch at Sembawang on July 22.

    The next batch also disappeared over a few days.

    As a result, grassroots leaders have had to buy a sizeable stash of umbrellas, costing a few hundred dollars, to replace the missing umbrellas.

    In hopes of a more foolproof borrowing system, the team went on to build a mechanical prototype that works like supermarket trolleys.

    The machine unlocks an umbrella when a $1 coin is inserted, and this money is refunded upon return of the umbrella. This solution has since been rejected however.

    “Because Sharella is a community project, LTA feels that it’s better to not involve any money in the project so as to create a more gracious society,” said team member Kishan Kumar Karunamuthi, 20.

    They figured that the only way to overcome this was to raise awareness about the sharing initiative.

    Volunteers were then stationed at the crossings on weekday evenings and on weekends to educate pedestrians on the project – and it soon took off.

    “If we just replenish and don’t educate the the residents, even if we put 1,000 umbrellas, they’ll be gone,” reasoned Mr Goh Pang Hong, chairman of the Gambas Citizens’ Consultative Committee.

    In turn, residents began donating their umbrellas, and this greatly helped to keep the project afloat.

    Commenting on this, Minister Ong, who also oversees the Gambas division in Sembawang GRC, said that the success of umbrella-sharing is not a given.

    “If the rate of loss is more than [the] rate of contribution, the scheme won’t be sustainable,” he wrote in an email to TODAY.

    Solving ‘First-World Problems’





    Minister Ong lauded the quartet for their idea, citing it as an excellent example of Singaporeans taking ownership of problems and finding their own solutions.

    “When we see problems, we no longer ask: What’s the Government doing about it? Gradually, progressively, I’m seeing more and more people doing something about problems they face every day.”

    So far, the Sharella team has slated a second launch for the initiative on September 16 at Blackmore Drive, near the Bukit Timah district.

    Meanwhile, Minister Ong is monitoring the project further before expanding it to other parts of the constituency.

    If successful, he feels that it will help solve many problems and save lots of taxpayers’ money – not just for rain shelters, but in many other areas too.

    According to him, building a linkway across the road was not feasible because the minimum height of 4.5m – for taller vehicles like double-decker buses to pass – meant pedestrians would not be adequately shielded from the rain.

    “It will cost millions (of dollars) to build a linkway that may not even be effective in providing shelter,” he wrote on Facebook.

    Adding on to this, Sharella’s Lim Wayne, 21, is confident that Sharella can be further developed to help convenience fellow Singaporeans.

    He also mentioned that other companies have expressed interest in collaborating with them to bring the project to greater heights, though no specific details were disclosed.

    https://vulcanpost.com/620394/sharel...aring-project/

  7. #7
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    Fun's over: Sex with Hong Kong dolls banned


    In surreal scenes reminiscent of hit TV show Westworld, incredibly life-like silicone dolls were presented at an exhibition in Beijing, China.




    Users have the option to customise the doll they choose and even add handcuffs if they feel like it






    “With one touch of a key, you are no longer single!”


    The company staff present during Touch’s promotional event in the Sanlitun shopping and entertainment area of Beijing were summoned to a local police station where they were interviewed and asked to provide a written guarantee that they would remove all sex dolls – which police officers apparently deemed too "vulgar" – from display.

    "Soon after the ‘girlfriend sharing service’ launched, it triggered intensive attention and heated discussion online… We were informed by the relevant authorities and voluntarily cooperate with all the investigations and accept the punishment," app’s developer Xiamen HaiBao Information Technology Co said in a statement on September 18.


    AFP
    September 18, 2017

    China's rentable sex dolls have been yanked off the market and the firm responsible for them has apologised, just days after the "shared girlfriends" began strutting their silicon stuff.

    Chinese sex-products retailer Touch said in a statement on Monday (Sept 18) that it "will actively explore healthier and more harmonious ways to diversify people's sex lives".

    The firm, which only launched the erotic service on Thursday on a trial basis, was fined by the police and ordered to cease its promotional activities, the Beijing News reported.

    Touch offered for rent life-sized sex dolls supposedly of Chinese, Russian, Korean and Hong Kong women, as well as an Amazon-like "Wonder Woman" with a sword and shield.

    Like many of China's shared-economy products, the silicon seductresses could be reserved via a phone app for up to a week at a time.

    Using the app, you can customise the doll you want before reserving it for a few nights of passion.

    This means choosing from a range of outfits and hairstyles, as well as kinky extras like whips and handcuffs, the Daily Star reports.

    Clients could even have their date "warmed up" before delivery and, for an extra fee, have them equipped with a device that made sounds when manhandled.

    They were available for short-term companionship starting at 298 yuan (S$61) per night.

    The company had said the "shared girlfriends" would help address the needs of the country's millions of men unable to find spouses because of a nationwide gender imbalance.

    "We are sorry to announce that Touch will suspend the operation of the shared girlfriend project," the company, based in the south-eastern city of Xiamen, said in a statement on Monday on Weibo, China's equivalent of Twitter.

    "Our intention was for more people to experience erotic fun.

    "But not long after the project went online it got attention from society and caused heated discussion. After we got a notice from the relevant authorities, we actively cooperated with all investigations and accepted punishment.

    "We express our deepest apology for the bad influence the shared girlfriend had on society, especially on the Internet opinion of the key meeting."

    The "key meeting" is a reference to the ruling Communist Party congress on October 18 in Beijing, a sensitive time in China.

    The country has gone sharing-mad in recent months with bikes, umbrellas and basketballs all up for rent.

    http://www.todayonline.com/world/asi...ls-snuffed-out

    https://sputniknews.com/art_living/2...pp-suspension/
    Última edição por 5ms; 18-09-2017 às 21:50.

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