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Not always fun and games

  • Source: Global Times
  • [22:09 June 02 2010]
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By Liang Chen

Passion Club (Tianshang Renjian, meaning paradise on earth) in Beijing is known for many things. Powerful bosses, gorgeous "escort girls", mysterious guests, luxurious decor and the recent clampdown are a few of those.

Four top nightclubs, including Passion Club, were ordered closed, and 557 escort girls arrested when Beijing police launched spot checks at high-end entertainment venues on May 11, according to Xinhua New Agency. Passion Club "will be closed for six months", Xu Xuedian, a policeman from the Chaoyang division of the Beijing Municipal Public Security Bureau told CCTV.

This is the most severe crackdown on "paid escort service", said one policeman. According to Regulations on Management of Entertainment Venues, places that provide such service will be closed for three to six months.

There are no reports on additional penalties, if any, on Passion Club owner. A police officer at the media department, surnamed Zi, told the Global Times that "There are penalties for managerial staff. But when, how much and whether to release the news has not been decided yet."

In their campaign against such entertainment venues under way since April 11, Beijing police have shut down 256 hair salons allegedly providing sex services and detained over 1132 people. "The campaign shows that Beijing police is challenging the privileged class, and cleansing the social environment," Bai Yansong, a famous anchorman at China Central Television, said in a program.

For the filthy rich

Although commonly known as a KTV center, Passion Club is far more than that. It is rumored to be the camp of "Beijing's top beauties" and a place that made people feel embarassed when entering - even with over 10,000 yuan. Just to chat up an escort girl was said to cost at least 1,000 yuan. Obviously, this is not a place that most Beijingers could afford.

But it was a major attraction. "I had heard of it even when I was studying in Germany. Sounds like a good place for the high-rollers to get entertained," Zhang Fan, a German telecom company staff said.

No one is clear about how much it cost to be entertained. A price board in the club reads: "3,000 yuan ($439.20) for normal KTV rooms, 6,000 yuan for superior KTV rooms, 9,000 yuan for VIP KTV rooms." The "Presidential Suite" costs over 10,000 yuan a night.

Drinks and food are not cheap. "A bottle of 355 ml beer is over 80 yuan. A bottle of whisky that costs, at the most, 2,000 yuan elsewhere is sold at over 5,000 yuan," a Passion Club visitor surnamed Zhao told Global People, a Beijing-based magazine. According to Zhao, the most expensive wine in the club sells at $12,000.

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