Authorities in Beijing, China have arrested 6 individuals, including the couple seen in the Uniqlo sex tape which went viral last week after the video made its way on Chinese social media portal Weibo.
Things came to a head after a video of couple, a fully unclothed woman and her male partner in the throes of passion inside a Uniqlo department store dressing room went viral, leading to authorities claiming a violation of morality and the purposeful spreading of pornography.
After the country’s internet watchdog, The Cyberspace administration of China reprimanded two of the nations’s main web portals, Sina and Tencent, for failing to stop the spread of the video, police announced on Sunday that they had arrested the couple in the video along with four others.
According to China.com, the couple depicted in the tape are named Hou Tianxu and Yutian, thought to be students at the Business College of Beijing Union University.
In launching their investigations, authorities sought to find out who posted the video and second, whether the tape was a publicity stunt intended to drum up business for the Japanese retailer?
A brief police statement issued today said one 19-year-old man surnamed Sun was charged with disseminating obscene material, while three others were being detained, along with the couple. Police indicated the video dated from April.
The case has come to raise questions within Chinese society, especially in light of the fact that pornography is illegal in China and porn websites are blocked; whilst red banners in cities across the country urge people to stay away from smut.
In fact, until 1997, extramarital sex could result in criminal charges, but legal reforms and other factors have led to increasingly liberal sexual attitudes.
According to the official New China News Agency, China’s criminal law stipulates that those convicted of disseminating obscene books, films, pictures and video clips could face jail terms of up to two years, while making obscene products to earn profit can carry a term of up to life in prison.
The proliferation of the tape led to state-run tabloid Global Times, writer Shan Renping lamented that ‘on the present-day Internet, there are many phenomenon that are moving further away from our noble traditions.’
In the face of the scandal, attention has also been drawn on Uniqlo with questions as to what, if any involvement the ‘Gap’ like department store may have had in the tape’s creation or dissemination?
Responding to the suggestion of impropriety against it, the outlet went so far as to urge customers on its website to ‘abide by social moral standards, maintain social justice, and use the fitting rooms properly.’ Indeed.
In the interim, Uniqlo continues to be a trending term on Chinese social media with many youth taking the opportunity to post ‘making out’ sessions outside Uniqlo department stores.