China’s largest e-commerce site, Taobao, began removing LGBT-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.
The company prohibited items described as ‘LGBT’, ‘Les’ and ‘Gay’. They claimed her products contained ‘obscenity, pornography, violence or political sensitivity’.
This week, China’s largest social media, Sina Weibo, also removed LGBT content. A page dedicated named ‘Les’ and dedicated to lesbian users disappeared on Sunday. It had 143,000 members and 540 million engagements. A lesbian group, meanwhile, is no longer accepting new members.
It comes almost exactly a year since Weibo first cracked down on LGBT content. It said any ‘content that violates correct marriage and family ethics’ should be removed.
Homosexuality has been legal in China since 1997, but LGBT people lack legal recognition and are not afforded basic rights.
Another step back in China. Until when?