As the world grapples with the prospect of a coronavirus pandemic, we are getting word from deep inside Chinese borders that government officials—in a fit of unbridled benevolence—seem to be easing up restrictions on porn as a way of helping people deal with this very unpleasant situation.
Yes, you read that right: China is freeing up porn to soothe the masses, with so many stuck at home or quarantined due to the COVID-19. Now, what constitutes “illegal” content in China is broadly defined, including works that “endanger national unity,” “leak state secrets,” and/or “disturb social order.” This criteria is intentionally vague and gives the government a wide latitude when squashing dissidence. So Weibo (the Chinese Twitter, heavily regulated by the State) users rejoiced when Tencent Holdings (a Chinese multinational conglomerate holding company with subsidiaries in entertainment, AI and technology) lifted a ban on their video download application, allowing for increased download speeds at no charge. Weibo patrons immediately proceeded to share photos and names of favorite porn stars, including Haruka Hoshino and Yuna Ogura.