Police in Beijing arrested five people alleged to be involved in the taping of a sex video in the changing room of a Uniqlo in the Sanlitum shopping district. The video, showing a mostly clothed man and a mostly naked woman, went viral on Weibo, a micro-blogging social media website popular in China.
Agence France-Presse reports:
"Five people were taken away by the police, including the man and woman who played the main role," said the state-run Beijing Television.
"The police investigation has two main parts: Who published this unsavoury video, and was it an example of hype by the business."
The Cyberspace Administration of China said that distributing the footage was "against socialist core values". It ordered senior managers of Weibo's operator Sina and Tencent, owner of WeChat, to cooperate in an investigation
Beijing police said they started investigating as soon as they saw the video on Weibo, and made the first arrests, of the couple on tape, a few hours later. China's internet regulator "reprimanded" the country's two largest web portals, Tencent and Sina, which operates Weibo, according to Xinhua, China's state-run news service. The regulator also insisted it was Chinese Internet users who were shocked by the video and demanded action. Police say the couple won't be prosecuted unless they are found to have participated in the dissemination of the tape. Distributing obscene materials could lead to a prison sentence of up to two years—if there's profit involved, the sentence could be life.
Uniqlo, a Japanese retail company, denied any involvement with the tape. The Sanlitum location has reportedly become something of a tourist attraction since the tape went viral. A tamer version of the tape, or a portion of it, appears to have been on YouTube since Thursday, which should should suggest how obscene it is. It is obviously still NSFW.