Our good friends up in Shanghai have broken a story regarding a new iPhone app that gives users information about massage parlors in Dongguan.
It’s common knowledge that the vast expanse of land between Shenzhen and Guangzhou is known as a sex capital in China. Hong Kong and Taiwanese businessmen frequent the area, and it’s popular with foreigners as well. How Dongguan developed this industry (and its accompanying reputation) would make a good article for another day.
But if it was popular before, it could shoot through the stratosphere based on the press it will soon get, courtesy of an iPhone app. Shanghai Daily has stumbled across an app which provides detailed information about massage parlors in the city. It surprisingly passed Apple’s normally strict app approval process:
“With only a taxi price (30 yuan), you can know details of clubs and services,” Peng Lizhang, the app’s developer, says in its description.
Using the app, people can find the names and locations of the massage clubs, the number of women in each and the number of those women who are “specially recommended.” Users can call the clubs directly through the application.
That Apple has approved such an application with such obvious pornographic content reflects badly on its examination team, according to TechWeb, an IT forum and information website.
The app, called Dongguan Massage Guide, is in Chinese only and organizes the parlors by district.
The minor scandal here isn’t that such an app exists, it’s that Apple approved it. Either they weren’t aware of what the app does, or let it pass as it contains no pornographic images. While it officially is designed to help ‘tourists’ find ‘spas’ for a ‘massage’, anybody who’s lived in China long enough knows that those words are euphemisms for.
It will be interesting to see how, or whether, Apple responds.