Chinese sex toys see new dawn
Yet this is a country where just 30 years ago public criticism erupted when a magazine published a picture of a couple kissing on its back cover.
The about face in attitudes towards sex in China, which began when the prudish Communist government launched its opening and reform drive in the late 1970s and has been catalysed by the Internet, is creating a prime business opportunity for the sex toy industry, insiders say.
The market will grow to around 40 billion yuan ($6.4 billion) by 2014 from around 10 billion yuan at the end of last year, predicts Lin Degang, chief executive of an online retailer of sex toys.
Within five years, sex toys will be a common commodity for everyday use, he told Reuters. Sex toys will be a key element of a fashionable lifestyle.
Sex toys have become so ubiquitous that various kinds of vibrators can even be bought at FamilyMart Co Ltd convenience stores throughout Shanghai. With price tags of $15 to $17, they are sold by the cashier, along with condoms.
Highlighting expectations of a strong upward trajectory in domestic sales, two private equity firms in August jointly invested 300 million yuan into Love Health Science & Technology Co Ltd, the biggest Chinese sex toy manufacturer.
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