A delivery man sends free condoms to a customer Wednesday. Photo: Wang Zi/GT
Beijing government has launched a smart-phone application called "FreeCondom," making it easier than ever for people to find free condoms.
While the delivery company says orders are strong, some residents say they do not trust domestically produced condoms, even if they are for free.
"We want people in our city to have safer sex, and have an improved reproductive health level. The application is our latest effort to promote condom use," said an office director, surnamed Chen, from Beijing Municipal Commission of Population and Family Planning Wednesday.
"And if this is a success, the method will be promoted nationally," said Chen.
People can get the condoms delivered by ordering on the phone or online at yaoju.bj.e-health.org.cn, but the free app is the latest way, and is found in the Android Market or the iPhone App Store.
Each customer can order a maximum of three packs, each pack containing 10 condoms. Customers need to register with their ID card, and can only order once every two months. There is a one or two yuan ($0.15 to 0.3) delivery fee, depending on where you live.
Last year, China produced 7 billion condoms for the global users and domestic consumption was close to 2.5 billion, according to a Chinanews.com report Wednesday.
Since the free condoms do not include familiar brands like Gobon, China's largest condom maker, based in Guilin, Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, there are concerns about the quality of the free ones.
Currently, the ones in stock are from 10 domestic brands, such as Hongsidai from Hebei Province, and Aijia from Tianjin, priced on the market at 12 to 13 yuan a pack on average.
"These brands are completely new to me, so I don't think it's worth trying, considering the high risks," said a 30-year-old salesman, surnamed Li.
"I fear the quality is not guaranteed," said a 27-year-old woman who works in an art magazine, "if my boyfriend insists, I'll say the sex is not going to happen."
Others, however, are keen to try out the app.
A 25-year-old IT engineer, surnamed Huang, ordered three packs Tuesday night as soon as he learnt about it from a website.
"I'm very satisfied with the service, I got the delivery the next day, and it was cool and fun to try the app," Huang said.
According to the delivery man from Changtong Express Company, he delivered condoms to a dozen people Wednesday and the company sends a couple of hundred packages every day.