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As China bans women from modelling for lingerie, male models wear push-up bras and corsets on live-stream shopping events

Several companies were banned by the Chinese govt for featuring women modelling for lingerie in live-stream shopping events, after which companies started using male models to promote and display lingerie products

To promote China’s live-stream lingerie industry, male models are showing off ladies’ undergarments in the country. Following China’s restriction on women modelling for lingerie online, live-stream fashion companies are substituting male models for female ones.

Multiple companies have been shut down for violating the law in China prohibiting the online spread of ‘obscene’ material. Therefore, the companies have started to live stream films of men wearing push-up bras, form-fitting corsets, and lace-trimmed nightgowns, since they are unwilling to lose out on potential revenue.

According to Statista, China’s live-stream retail market is expected to be worth over $700 billion in 2023.

“Personally, I don’t think we have much of a choice. We will employ our male coworkers to model the designs since our female coworkers are unable to do so”, according to Xu, the owner of a live stream company, who spoke to Jiupai News as reported by the New York Post.

Last December, a male model dressed in a silk robe appeared for Xu’s business. The caption of the video reads, “The light and luxurious boudoir of the wife and adults,” and was posted on Douyin, the Chinese version of TikTok.

More than 2,000 people liked the video while many commented on the same. Online users quickly voiced their opinions about the gender-bending move. One person said that if it were a female model, the live stream would be shut down every two minutes. “It’s not like this hasn’t happened before, and it still denies a lot of women job opportunities,” the user said. “the male wears it better than the girl,” observed another.

A Twitter user who goes by the username @xiaojingcanxue tweeted, “In China, women are not allowed to wear underwear in the live broadcast room. Otherwise, the live broadcast room will be immediately and permanently banned for allegedly spreading obscenity. So what should I do if I have to bring goods and sell women’s underwear in the live broadcast room? It’s very simple, find a man to wear it.”

Notably, China saw a huge increase in live-stream shopping in 2020, and the COVID-19 pandemic contributed to some of that rise. Traditional stores began to close down as more people were compelled to shop at home, and companies shifted their operations online.

In live-stream shopping, models and influencers display products being sold on a live stream, similar to television shopping. But in live-stream shopping, the customers can interact with the presenters, ask questions about the product. Live stream shopping events usually include discounts, promotions and giveaways, making them hugely popular. Such live shopping shows are commonly hosted both on social media platforms such as Facebook Live and Instagram, as well as on e-commerce sites like Alibaba’s Taobao app and Amazon Live from Amazon.

Fashion products are the most popular products sold on live stream events in China, followed by food and household items. These shows are generally hosted by models, influencers and celebrities.

It is pertinent to note that n 2021, the Chinese government outlawed ‘effeminate’ men on TV and ordered broadcasters to promote “revolutionary culture,” intensifying a push to impose strict morality and tighter government control over industry and society. A “national rejuvenation” with stricter Communist Party control over commerce, education, culture, and religion was advocated by President Xi Jinping.

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