Ikea has said it will take “more careful” security measures in its shops in China after an explicit video of a woman masturbating in one of its stores went viral online. The pornographic clip shows a woman pleasuring herself half-naked on various sofas and beds in the furniture store’s showroom, while oblivious shoppers walk by in the background.
While uncensored versions of the video have been scrubbed from Chinese social media, the Swedish company’s response to the clip gained nine million views.
“We resolutely oppose and condemn this kind of behaviour, and immediately reported it to the police in the city of the suspected store,” Ikea said in a statement, without revealing the name of the branch.
The homeware group said Saturday that it would take “even more careful security and public cleanliness measures” and encouraged all customers to “browse stores in an orderly and civilised way”.
The identity of the woman and the person who filmed it have not been revealed. Some Chinese social media users have speculated it was a store in Guangdong province, as Cantonese spoken in parts of southern China can be heard in the background store announcements.
Baffled users online also pointed out that nobody is wearing face masks in the video, suggesting it was filmed before the coronavirus outbreak which brought China to a standstill from late January.
“This woman is so brave, I don’t understand, [she’s] just doing it in broad daylight,” read one Weibo post that gained more than 8,000 likes. “There are so many people around, I just don’t understand,” another wrote.
It is not the first explicit video to cause a stir on China’s tightly controlled social media platforms. A Beijing branch of the Japanese clothing chain Uniqlo became infamous in 2015, after a clip of a couple having sex in one of its changing rooms went viral.
Police arrested five people, including the young couple in the video, over the matter, while Uniqlo firmly denied that it was a publicity stunt. The clip “severely violated socialist core values,” the Chinese Cyberspace Administration said at the time.
Chinese citizens can face up to ten days’ administrative detention for deliberate public nudity, while those who upload and disseminate obscene content online face up to 15 days’ detention and a maximum fine of 3,000 yuan.