We thought Instagram’s crusade to ban the nipple was bad, but China’s Uniqlo sex tape controversy has upped the censorship ante. According to the South China Morning Post (SCMP), the Cyberspace Administration of China reprimanded executives from the country’s top social media sites, Weibo and WeChat, for allowing the oh so scandalous tape to go viral.
“The viral circulation of the obscene fitting room video on the internet has severely violated socialist core values,” an unnamed cyberspace admin reportedly said. China’s communist regime maintains mass Internet censorship through what international press has coined “The Great Firewall.” American websites like Google, Facebook, Youtube and Twitter (essentially, your entire browser history) are banned for not complying with the country’s moral regulations.
While the one-minute sex tape—which SCMP lovingly dubbed the “Uniquickie”—was filmed mid-April, the controversy began when it was leaked online July 14. The clip features a bespectacled, black clothing-clad man whispering, “call me husband” (oh, baby) while he and his naked lady friend bang in a fitting room. Toward the end, the store intercom reveals our setting to be an outlet of fast fashion retailer Uniqlo in Sanlitun, a popular shopping district in Beijing.
Chinese authorities ordered executives at Weibo and WeChat to cooperate in an investigation of the clip’s origins. Soon after, they arrested the couple and several other individuals linked to the video’s dissemination.
The authorities also suggested the clip may be part of a Uniqlo marketing ploy, which the retailer firmly denies. “As a responsible international brand, Uniqlo … would like to ask consumers to abide by social ethics, maintain social justice and correctly and properly use the fitting spaces provided by Uniqlo stores,” the retailer said, according to SCMP.
Even with the attempts to quash the dissemination and discussion of the tape, the clip has become a cultural meme: Hordes of young people now take selfies outside the Sanlitun outlet, sometimes mimicking the couple’s provocative stance. The retailer’s Shenzhen, China manufacturing factory references the video in their recent labor protests. Someone even got a tattoo of the fitting room romp. The message is clear: Long live the Uniquickie.