China’s largest e-commerce site removes LGBTI products


China’s largest e-commerce site, Taobao, began removing LGBTI-themed items from online stores this week. Taobao, owned by Chinese billionaire Jack Ma, told Vendors selling products such as rainbow clothing and accessories that ‘erotic, violent and vulgar content’ was not allowed. It told Hu Nao, a 27-year-old from ShanDong who sells handmade rainbow accessories, the company prohibited items described as ‘LGBT’ ‘Les’ and ‘Gay’. They claimed her products contained ‘obscenity, pornography, violence or political sensitivity’. ‘I am only selling some accessories to give us [LGBT] some identity’ she mentioned. ‘Why can’t I do that?’ she asked. This week, China’s largest social media, Sina Weibo, also removed LGBTI content. A page dedicated named ‘les’ and dedicated to lesbian users disappeared on Sunday (14 April). It had 143,000 members and 540 million engagements. A lesbian group, meanwhile, is no longer accepting new members.

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