Mobile Sex In China: New Social App Makes Hooking Up Easier For 711 Million

Thanks to particularities of the Chinese language, China's largest Internet service provider has launched a mobile app with a name -- Weixin -- that means "little message," but also can mean something else. Its geo-location feat

Mobile Sex In China: New Social App Makes Hooking Up Easier For 711 Million


BEIJING - So who exactly is going to get excited about yet another mobile phone messaging service application? Tencent, China's largest Internet service portal, already has some 700 million users on its QQ service. So who needs yet another social tool for photo sharing or voice messaging, right? Not exactly. With weixin, which literally means "tiny message," you are heading for a linguistic gray area -- and potentially unexplored erogenous zones.

This new mobile software has been a runaway success since its launch last autumn. Chinese is a language with many words that sound similar, "weixin" also sounds like "for sex" and the main function of this instant message software appears to be just that - to meet up with a partner… for sex.

There is no shame attached to this popular new app. Shame would require a moral context -- and since most of the users are well-educated city-dwelling hipsters who expect to do what they please, go where they want, and surf online at any moment...moral stances are in relatively short supply.

This considerate tool offers a geo-localizing service so you can track and message any user within a one-kilometer radius, whether you know them or not. This provides the convenience of seeing a nearby person's photo, in relative privacy. It spares you the embarrassment of rejection when asking for his or her phone number.

Many seem to find it particularly convenient to engineer an encounter with a total stranger around Beijing's fashion landmarks or high-end offices and hotels.

In general, it's mostly men taking the initiative. They are on the hunt for "yue pao" which translates as "appointment bang." If you happen to match the contemporary Chinese preference for being tall, smart or rich, your chances for success are sure to rise. An along the lines of say, Jude Law, would be excellent. If you are not so lucky in the looks department, then the logo of your Mercedes-Benz or BMW, or an address at the Ritz Carton will do the trick just the same. You're sure to get the girl out for a romantic meal at least. As to further developments, good luck!

For Weixin, a Tencent QQ account is the only log-in option. But with a lion's share of China's registered users already signed up with QQ, that means Weixin is an option for more than 711 million active accounts. Or put another way: just about every single Chinese user of the Internet is registered with it. This tells you just how vast the erogenous zone you are stepping into really is.

Read the full original article in Chinese by Zhu Chong

Photo - faungg

*Newsbites are digest items, not direct translations

**Correction: an earlier version of the article had incorrectly referred to 71 million users of Weixin. There are 711 million QQ users who have access to Weixin, though figures of how many actually use it are not available.

Keep up with the world. Break out of the bubble.
Sign up to our expressly international daily newsletter!

How Thailand's Lèse-Majesté Law Is Used To Stifle All Protest

Once meant to protect the royal family, the century-old law has become a tool for the military-led government in Bangkok to stamp out all dissent. A new report outlines the abuses.

Pro-Democracy protest at The Criminal Court in Bangkok, Thailand

Laura Valentina Cortés Sierra

"We need to reform the institution of the monarchy in Thailand. It is the root of the problem." Those words, from Thai student activist Juthatip Sirikan, are a clear expression of the growing youth-led movement that is challenging the legitimacy of the government and demanding deep political changes in the Southeast Asian nation. Yet those very same words could also send Sirikan to jail.

Thailand's Criminal Code 'Lèse-Majesté' Article 112 imposes jail terms for defaming, insulting, or threatening the monarchy, with sentences of three to 15 years. This law has been present in Thai politics since 1908, though applied sparingly, only when direct verbal or written attacks against members of the royal family.

But after the May 2014 military coup d'état, Thailand experienced the first wave of lèse-majesté arrests, prosecutions, and detentions of at least 127 individuals arrested in a much wider interpretation of the law.

The recent report 'Second Wave: The Return of Lèse-Majesté in Thailand', documents how the Thai government has "used and abused Article 112 of the Criminal Code to target pro-democracy activists and protesters in relation to their online political expression and participation in peaceful pro-democracy demonstrations."

Criticism of any 'royal project'

The investigation shows 124 individuals, including at least eight minors, have been charged with lèse-majesté between November 2020 and August 2021. Nineteen of them served jail time. The new wave of charges is cited as a response to the rising pro-democracy protests across Thailand over the past year.

Juthatip Sirikan explains that the law is now being applied in such a broad way that people are not allowed to question government budgets and expenditure if they have any relationship with the royal family, which stifles criticism of the most basic government decision-making since there are an estimated 5,000 ongoing "royal" projects. "Article 112 of lèse-majesté could be the key (factor) in Thailand's political problems" the young activist argues.

In 2020 the Move Forward opposition party questioned royal spending paid by government departments, including nearly 3 billion baht (89,874,174 USD) from the Defense Ministry and Thai police for royal security, and 7 billion baht budgeted for royal development projects, as well as 38 planes and helicopters for the monarchy. Previously, on June 16, 2018, it was revealed that Thailand's Crown Property Bureau transferred its entire portfolio to the new King Maha Vajiralongkorn.

photo of graffiti of 112 crossed out on sidewalk

Protestors In Bangkok Call For Political Prisoner Release

Peerapon Boonyakiat/SOPA Images via ZUMA Wire

Freedom of speech at stake

"Article 112 shuts down all freedom of speech in this country", says Sirikan. "Even the political parties fear to touch the subject, so it blocks most things. This country cannot move anywhere if we still have this law."

The student activist herself was charged with lèse-majesté in September 2020, after simply citing a list of public documents that refer to royal family expenditure. Sirikan comes from a family that has faced the consequences of decades of political repression. Her grandfather, Tiang Sirikhan was a journalist and politician who openly protested against Thailand's involvement in World War II. He was accused of being a Communist and abducted in 1952. According to Sirikhan's family, he was killed by the state.

The new report was conducted by The International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH), Thai Lawyer for Human Rights (TLHR), and Internet Law Reform Dialogue (iLaw). It accuses Thai authorities of an increasingly broad interpretation of Article 112, to the point of "absurdity," including charges against people for criticizing the government's COVID-19 vaccine management, wearing crop tops, insulting the previous monarch, or quoting a United Nations statement about Article 112.

Juthatip Sirikan speaks in front of democracy monument.

Shift to social media

While in the past the Article was only used against people who spoke about the royals, it's now being used as an alibi for more general political repression — which has also spurred more open campaigning to abolish it. Sirikan recounts recent cases of police charging people for spreading paint near the picture of the king during a protest, or even just for having a picture of the king as phone wallpaper.

The more than a century-old law is now largely playing out online, where much of today's protest takes place in Thailand. Sirikan says people are willing to go further on social media to expose information such as how the king intervenes in politics and the monarchy's accumulation of wealth, information the mainstream media rarely reports on them.

Not surprisingly, however, social media is heavily monitored and the military is involved in Intelligence operations and cyber attacks against human rights defenders and critics of any kind. In October 2020, Twitter took down 926 accounts, linked to the army and the government, which promoted themselves and attacked political opposition, and this June, Google removed two Maps with pictures, names, and addresses, of more than 400 people who were accused of insulting the Thai monarchy. "They are trying to control the internet as well," Sirikan says. "They are trying to censor every content that they find a threat".

Keep up with the world. Break out of the bubble.
Sign up to our expressly international daily newsletter!