China's lifestyle-oriented app Xiaohongshu vows serious punishment on travel-partner-seeking posting after alleged links to pornographic content
Published: Sep 01, 2023 04:04 PM
Xiaohongshu Photo: CFP

Xiaohongshu Photo: CFP

The platform has conducted a comprehensive investigation into all the postings related to seeking travel companions and hasn't identify those suspected of containing pornographic content, which was mentioned in a recent post, China's lifestyle-oriented platform Xiaohongshu, or Little Red Book said, vowing to take strict actions against the violators in accordance with the law and regulations once problematic content is confirmed.

The platform fully respects the need among users for social engagement and strongly opposes all kinds of deliberate defamation and hype, Xiaohongshu said. The platform's response came after some netizens accused a number of bloggers sexual 'hook ups' under the guise of regular postings which professed to be seeking 'travel companions.

"Travel expenses for the companion fully covered" has reportedly become a hidden code in certain postings with "only for girls, each takes what they need" usually emphasized. Several bloggers claimed to be a financially well-off males inviting attractive girls to accompany them in upscale hotels and restaurants or even overseas travel free of charge.

Some netizens said they have been asked if they were looking for a "green companion" when seeking travel companions on Xiaohongshu and were told that "expenses fully covered for girls" is essentially cover for soliciting prostitution.

The hashtage "Xiaohongshu travel partner seeking suspected of containing porn messages" has become a trending topic on China's Twitter-like social media platform Sina Weibo with more than 280 million views and comments as of 6pm on Wednesday.

It is not the first time that Xiaohongshu has been dragged into a pornography-related controversy. According CCTV News, in September 2021, a father of a primary school student in Southwest China's Chengdu saw several video clips compromising the physical privacy of minors. In 2022, Xiaohongshu's affiliated company, Xingyin Information Technology (Shanghai) Co was fined 300,000 yuan (roughly $41,150) by the Cultural and Tourism Bureau of Huangpu District for violating laws governing the protection of minors.

Global Times