Fake condoms seized, Taobao launches sperm bank and one-child policy to retire?

By Ella Wong, July 24, 2015

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It’s been a big week for birth control news in China this week.

First up, the disturbing news that three million counterfeit condoms were seized by Shanghai police along with machines in Shanghai and Henan.

Medical experts warn that the poorly made rubbers are not only ineffective as contraception but are sometimes toxic.

"We don't know where the rubber comes from. Produced in underground factories, such condoms, with fragile rubber and poor flexibility, may lead to accidental pregnancies and bacterial infections," a doctor in Guangzhou told local media.

Cheaply made knockoffs masquerading as Durex branded condoms have been found in small hotels and stores as well as on Alibaba’s online platforms for as little as RMB5 for a box of 12.

Millions of counterfeit condoms seized in China

Alibaba has promised to rid its sites of shanzhai semen-stoppers, but in the meantime, the e-commerce giant has been soliciting sperm for cash via Taobao’s daily deals section Juhuasuan.

Over the course of three days last week, Taobao’s offer of RMB3,000-RMB5,000 per sample attracted over 22,000 would-be-donors. The applicants will have to undergo a health test at a sperm bank to see if their swimmers are up for the job before they get their financial reward.

Quartz reports that, “China is home to 11 sperm banks, but […] there’s not enough to sperm to satisfy demand, in part because most donors (55%) are turned away for inadequate sperm count.”

That demand could go up even further next year when China is expected to allow all couples to have at least two children. The one–child policy has gradually been relaxed in recent years; certain people in parts of the country – such as ethnic minorities and couples where one parent is an only child – already qualify to procreate more than once.  

This week a government source who asked to remain anonymous told China Business News that the two-child policy will be introduced by the end of the year. The National Health and Family Planning Commission said no timetable has been planned, but China Daily reports that experts forecast a due date sometime in 2016 for the highly anticipated policy.

Until then, make sure you buy your condoms from a legit source, folks.

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