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'Sugar dating' website not registered, operating in Shanghai

By by Cao Chen in Shanghai | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2018-05-25 17:57
A screenshot of dating app SeekingArrangement. [Photo/itunes.apple.com]

Administrators from the Information Office of the Pudong New Area verified on May 25 that the dating website Seeking Arrangement, whose public account on WeChat was banned earlier, is not registered as an information technology company in the Shanghai Free Trade Zone.

They said the company has never operated in the Pudong New Area or paid any taxes there.

Referred to as a "sugar daddy" app, Seeking Arrangement was created in 2006 by Singaporean-American Brandon Wade, connecting wealthy older men with young women online.

It entered the country in 2015 with a Chinese language site and apps, and became one of the most-downloaded iPhone and Android apps in China earlier this week.

The male members are required to list their financial status during registration and to pay a monthly membership fee of 400 yuan ($63), while females can choose between enjoying free services or paying 100 yuan a month to have access to more functions.

On May 22, the Global Times newspaper posted an article calling for the Chinese government to shut down its business for arranging "sugar dating".

Criminal lawyers have been cited saying the website's founder and operator could face criminal charges for organizing or sheltering prostitution through websites disguised as a platform for dating or matchmaking.

Local police said investigation on the case has begun.

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