China has banned women from modeling lingerie on online shopping livestreams — so men are doing it instead

online shopping men lingerie
Male models are replacing women in e-commerce livestreams selling lingerie in China.@xiaojingcanxue/Twitter
  • China has a ban on women modeling lingerie on online shopping livestreams.

  • Livestreams that ignore the ban are shut down, and offenders can be charged for disseminating obscene material.

  • To bypass this rule, online lingerie businesses are hiring men to do the modeling instead.

China's livestream shopping scene is a booming industry that is projected to be worth more than $700 billion by this year, according to Statista.

The industry is said to account for about 10% of the country's e-commerce revenue, according to McKinsey.

Livestreams featuring females modeling lingerie have had a history of being promptly shut down and banned as a result of China's law against spreading obscene material online.

To work around this ban, some of these businesses have recently started hiring male models to flaunt women's lingerie. One of the first broadcasts was held last December.


Some Chinese netizens are amused by this attempt at dodging the loophole. "The guy wears it better than the girl," a comment on a video clip of the livestream on Douyin — China's TikTok — garners almost two hundred likes.

Others are saying that using mannequins would be a better alternative to accurately modeling the lingerie. A few comments on Weibo — a Chinese social media platform — also say that this trend is "depriving women of job opportunities."

"If it's a female model, the livestream would be banned every other minute, it's not like this hasn't happened before, this is still depriving a group of women of their job opportunities," a comment with 130,000 likes read.

Male broadcasters modeling traditionally female products are in fact not new to the scene. One of the industry's most popular lipstick models, Austin Li Jiaqi, is male and was even dubbed the "Lipstick King" in China by fans.

"Personally, we don't really have a choice. The designs can't be modeled by our female colleagues, so we will use our male colleagues to model it," the owner of a livestream business referred to as "Mr. Xu" told Jiupai News in an interview.

According to Xu, many other lingerie livestream e-commerce businesses were inspired by his idea and have started following suit.

Regarding comments on women being unfairly deprived of jobs, the owner told Jiupai News that he finds the assertion ridiculous.

"Many directors of these livestreams are women, are they also stealing men's jobs?" Xu said in the interview with Jiupai News.

Although the livestream e-commerce industry has achieved a massive following in China, the same shopping trend has been failing to replicate its popularity in the US.

"People in China go to live-stream shopping events because of great discounts," Alessandro Bogliari, CEO of Miami-based agency The Influencer Marketing Factory, told the South China Morning Post. "In contrast, most US platforms do not provide any strong push to live shopping events on their sites, and there are not enough good hosts," Bogliari said.

It seems that what began as a witty scheme has evolved into a marketing strategy that has enabled certain businesses to distinguish themselves from the numerous other e-commerce shops selling lingerie.

Read the original article on Insider