Dongguan Anti-Prostitution Campaign, Results and Reactions

Chinese police officers in Dongguan, Guangdong province, seal up a room where prostitution was found.

Chinese police officers in Dongguan, Guangdong province, seal up a room where prostitution was found.

From NetEase:

Guangdong Launches 3-Month Anti-Prostitution Crackdown, News Causes Prices for Sex Services to Increase


February 9th morning, in a CCTV “Live News” report, a reporter went undercover to secretly investigate the prostitution activities at multiple four- and five-star hotels and similar venues, and after reporting [such activities], he found that no police came to investigate [further].

Yesterday, according to information from the Ministry of Public Security, the Dongguan city Zhongtang town Public Security Sub-Bureau Chief and such individuals have been suspended pending investigation, while the Dongguan city [Party] committee has reprimanded the top leaders and leaders responsible for the 5 towns that were exposed. In addition, 8 police officers including the police station chief responsible for responding to reports that day have been suspended.

Yesterday, the Ministry of Public Security immediately convened a special meeting, demanding the quick adoption of decisive measures to earnestly hold responsible the relevant leadership of the local Public Security Bureaus, and resolutely crack down on the organizers, operators, and behind-the-scenes “protective umbrella” [corrupt government/police] of prostitution activities. The Ministry of Public Security dispatched an oversight group led by Public Security Management Bureau chief and with participation by monitoring, supervision, and other departments to oversee investigation of the case, rectification of problems, and holding of responsibility.


Yesterday, according to Dongguan police statistics, during the February 9th coordinated raids, the Dongguan Public Security Bureau made a sweep of the entire city’s saunas, foot massage parlors, and karaokes. In the operation, a total of 1948 entertainment establishments were investigated, among them including 220 saunas, 672 foot massage parlors, 352 karaokes, and 694 other entertainment establishments. Problems were discovered in 39, and 162 people were arrested for investigation.

Dongguan 36 Hours

February 9th morning

CCTV’s Live News program exposes prostitution activities in multiple places of entertainment [KTVs, bath houses, gentlemen clubs, hotels, etc.] in Dongguan.

After news was broadcasted

Guangdong provincial Party Secretary Hu Chunhua issues instructions that the entire city be swept, first dealing with the “branches” then dealing with the “roots” [of the problem].

February 9th 3pm

First round of raids, raiding the 12 places of entertainment exposed in the media, detaining individuals involved in prostitution, closing down locations/businesses involved in prostitution.

February 9th 9pm

Dongguan municipal Public Security Bureau organizes second round of raids.

February 9th afternoon onwards

Dongguan deploys a total of 6525 police officers in coordinated raid of all the saunas, foot massage parlors, and places of entertainment throughout Dongguan.

As of February 9th 10pm

Police have arrested 67 relevant individuals.

February 9th around 7pm

At the Huangjiang town Prince Hotel that was exposed, plain-clothed police officers detain and load over 10 men and women onto police vehicles.

February 10th

Guangdong province Ministry of Security instructs Public Security Bureau in launching a 3 month special operation to crack down on places of entertainment involved in prostitution.

February 10th

Ministry of Security dispatches oversight group to Guangdong to oversee investigation of cases, rectification of the problems, and holding of responsibility.

February 10th 5:56pm

The official microblog of the [Dongguan] city government’s press office stated that on the 9th, police have inspected a total of 1948 places of entertainment and arrested 162 individuals for investigation.



“Inspections are strict, you won’t find [prostitution] throughout all of Dongguan tonight”

This Beijing Times reporter returned to the entertainment venues that were exposed, and many of them were sealed off; with prostitution brokers [pimps, managers] saying prostitutes have increased prices.

Yesterday, in urban Dongguan, Zhongtang town, Houjie town, and Huangjiang town, this Beijing News reporter made a return visit. Of the establishments previously secretly investigated and exposed by the media, many of them had already been sealed up and closed down, but other entertainment venues continued to have people marketing prostitution services and what more, with prices being higher than before.

Seals on doors, but customers still visiting

Of the establishments involved in prostitution exposed by CCTV, three were in Dongguan’s Zhongtang town. Respectively, they were the Kang Yi Leisure Club, Yuan Feng Hotel, and Dong Zhen Hotel.

Yesterday at 3:30, the words “Sealed by Dongguang city Public Security Bureau Zhongtang Sub-Bureau” were affixed on the doors of the Kang Yi Leisure Club, dated 2014 February 9. In the parking lot the size of two basketball courts outside, only one small van was parked.

“Three police vehicles came at 11 last night, with over 60 police officers, who investigated for about 3 hours, though I didn’t see them bring anyone out,” said the worker in the small shop next door. The crackdown this year was larger than last year. They were inspected last summer as well, and two months later, the establishment was open again. Around 4pm, a man came by and dithered outside the door for some time before leaving. He didn’t know that this establishment had “been on CCTV”. He said he normally likes coming here.

Yuan Feng Hotel is located near the Kang Yi Leisure Club. This reporter entered under the guise of looking for accommodations only to be refused by 3 security guards: “What are you here for? [This establishment is] on vacation.”

A Dongguan Public Security Bureau seal was also on the main doors of the Dong Zhen Hotel. In Houjie town and Huangjiang town, employees of the Sheraton Hotel and Prince Hotel that were exposed uniformly claimed that the sauna (centers) closed yesterday and they no longer have sauna services.

Tense atmosphere, prostitute asking prices increase

At places of entertainment and their surroundings, there are many people who say although the situation is tense, [they] “can still find [prostitutes] for you”.

Last night at 8, the decor of the Nile Hotel in urban Dongguan was luxurious, but the Caesar KTV in the hotel had no customers.

The inspections have been strict these few days. Normally we can call them over for you to pick and choose, 1000 kuai for the whole package, but that’s not possible now,” said the entertainment department floor manager Zheng Songlei. Now there are only a few hostess girls you can call to sing with you, 500 each, and it is only singing and drinking. “Now that it’s on TV, you definitely won’t be able to find (a prostitute) in all of Dongguan.”

Last night, a young man calling himself “Xiao Ma Brother” said, “there is no [large] line up for picking and choosing tonight, but I can choose five or six good ones for you to choose from, to service you in a guest room. The price will be higher than before, and you have to pay for the room yourself.”


Comments from NetEase:

1個好朋友 [网易江苏省苏州市网友]:

The Sex City/Sex Capital of the Orient’s hereafter: When “艹” [fucking] is no more, it is “完” [over], and this is the fate of “东莞” [Dongguan].

毛润之留给中国人第三土气 [网易上海市网友]:

I’ve noticed a strange phenomenon, that usually the people who upvote me, and especially those who support me, all not long after accomplish the following things: 1. Successfully fall in love; 2. Successfully negotiate a business deal; 3. Become successful in business/work; 4. Are promoted and become rich; 5. Become happy and free from worry; 6. Their families become harmonious; 7. Their bodies become healthy; 8. Everything goes according to their wishes. [Over 24k upvotes at time of translation.]

网易吉林省四平市网友 [不要白日梦]:

Has Guangdong offended CCTV somehow? CCTV should direct attention to food safety and environmental pollution. Now planted crops all have poisons in them, so are these farm crops harmful to people or not? The land and rivers are polluted, and you don’t report on it with importance, what the hell does prostitution and whoring matter?

A我来自火星 [网易浙江省温州市网友]: (responding to above)

These past two days, the anti-prostitution sweeps and crackdown instigated by mouthpiece CCTV’s undercover reporting are in full swing. Because CCTV is a national television station, its influence is extraordinary, and not only has it caused Guangdong government officials to lead police in a large-scale sweep, it has also triggered a battle of words among the populace: Those against the anti-prostitution sweeps and those in support of the anti-prostitution sweeps.

Those against the anti-prostitution sweeps believe CCTV has always targeted disadvantaged groups, not daring to supervise the truly powerful government officials, to say nothing of sex workers not actually being of much harm to society and, just the opposite, have made huge contributions to the stability and prosperity of society, so they are against the anti-prostitution crackdown.

Those who support the anti-prostitution sweeps believe sex workers undermine society, a kind of harm and threat to social harmony, and moreover are detrimental to building morality in our society, so they support the anti-prostitution crackdown.

Those against the anti-prostitution sweeps are mostly right-wingers (of course there are also some left-wingers), while those in support of the anti-prostitution sweeps are undoubtedly one part fenqing (considered extreme left-wingers) and one part women. The opposition here I will put aside for now and just comment on the supporters—Fenqing, in this war of words [debate], as is their habit direct their spittle [venom, criticism] at those in power, opposing for the sake of opposing, their spittle flying everywhere, saliva overflowing, even simply wildly hurling abuse—regardless of whether it is against those in opposition [of the sweeps] or against the sex workers, the shallowness and barbarity of their knowledge/experience making it clear to all the low characters of fenqing!

In this day and age where public power is arbitrarily thrown around, in this day and age where overflowing materialism, in this day and age where disadvantaged social groups lack dignity/respect, in this day and age where the bottom limits of morality are constantly being broken, in this day and age where private rights are unable to be asserted, sex workers use their own physical abilities, their own adept professional skills and attitude of professional service, to make a living, only they are frequently destroyed by the spittle [condemnation] of moralists!

In this society, marginalized social groups are frequently unable to get the care and concern of society, as well as frequently the victim of oppression by the powerful/privileged groups, but even so, they still tenaciously survive, and thus we cannot help but express respect for them!

Only when the rights of sex workers can get widespread attention and people’s private rights asserted can this society say its civilization has made progress.

Tonight, we continue to stand on the side of Dongguan—This is a out of cardinal principle!

网易山东省青岛市手机网友(117.132.*.*): (responding to above)

Saying so much is useless, the law is the very bottom line of morality/ethics, so what is there to argue about when someone is caught for violating the law?

网易中国手机网友(117.136.*.*): (responding to above)

The law is not the bottom line of morality/ethics, it is a tool of the ruling class. Did you not pay attention in politics class when you were small?!

ZZZZZZZZZZZ0 [网易广东省广州市手机网友]:

How many robberies and murder cases are there every year? A woman going to work is robbed and is stabbed to death when fighting back! A man in front of the restaurant of his wedding banquet is robbed and stabbed to death for fighting back… Does this kind of news happen rarely in Dongguan? Have such cases been solved yet? Mobilizing over 6 thousand JC to arrest prostitutes, have you people ever mobilized a single JC to catch a robber? 100 JC catching one prostitute, seems like the firepower of a prostitute is comparable to that of a missile!


The sex industry in Dongguan is already out of control! Just like the Asian carp awhile ago, if it isn’t managed, with our countrymen’s values of placing money above everything else, without the constraints of ethics and morality, I truly dare not imagine how women in our country then will no longer consider it a shame to sell sex, all quitting their jobs to reap money [through prostitution], where sex can be had with them as long as money is given, because after all, everyone as well as their descendents must live in this country!

hangcheung [网易江苏省手机网友]: (responding to above)

The corrupt officials throughout the country are getting out of control! Just like the Asian carp awhile ago, if it isn’t managed, with our countrymen’s values of placing money above everything else, without the constraints of ethics and morality, I truly dare not imagine how civil servants, company leaders, and state enterprise leaders in our country then will no longer consider it a shame to be corrupt, accept bribes, and fail to do their duties, all quitting [neglecting] their jobs to reap money [through prostitution], where they can be promoted as long as money is given, because after all, everyone as well as their descendents must live in this country!

网易江苏省南京市手机网友 ip:112.4.*.*:

Young Fang, who originally planned to return to Dongguan to work, suddenly called her boyfriend Young Zhang, to say she has decided not to go out there anymore, and stay in the village to marry Young Zhang… At this moment, Young Zhang fell into deep contemplation.

A survey on Phoenix Online: (screenshot)

1. What do you believe is the reason the sex trade is relatively more severe in Dongguan?
  • It was opened to the outside earlier, and foreign investment and foreign businessmen brought with them their degenerate lifestyles;
  • 11.15% 39,362 votes
  • Lots of migrant workers, who have basic physiological needs;
  • 29.96% 105,758 votes
  • Affluent economy, and “sexual lusts increase when one is fed and warm” for those who got rich first;
  • 22.09% 77,964 votes
  • Distorted values of money worship, where an ideology of “laughing at the poor but not the prostitutes” exists in society;
  • 29.85% 105,350 votes
  • Hard to say.
  • 6.95% 24,544 votes
    2. How do you view the Dongguan anti-prostitution sweep/crackdown?
  • Short term powerful intimidation, instant results;
  • 12.11% 41,869 votes
  • Hope that a long-term effective control mechanism will be established, and fundamentally put an end to this kind of activity;
  • 14.38% 49,736 votes
  • The sex trade will continue to exist in more concealed/underground forms;
  • 61.38% 212,271 votes
  • Hard to say.
  • 12.13% 41,952 votes
    3. How do you view the “Stand Firm Dongguan” and such voices [supporting Dongguan, critical of the government’s anti-prostitution crackdown] on Sina Weibo?
  • Demagoguery of a portion of netizens.;
  • 10.79% 37,345 votes
  • Netizens’ perception of the sex trade is different from the government;
  • 43.09% 149,096 votes
  • The customary griping/ridicule of netizens, using this to vent about dissatisfaction about other things;
  • 39.35% 136,158 votes
  • Hard to say
  • 6.76% 23,389 votes

    Written by Fauna

    Fauna is a mysterious young Shanghainese girl who lives in the only place a Shanghainese person would ever want to live: Shanghai. In mid-2008, she started chinaSMACK to combine her hobby of browsing Chinese internet forums with her goal of improving her English. Through her tireless translation of popular Chinese internet news and phenomenon, her English has apparently gotten dramatically better. At least, reading and writing-wise. Unfortunately, she's still not confident enough to have written this bio, about herself, by herself.