Closer look: A hotel attack and the dark world of Chinese sex workers

(From Caixin Online)

A woman recently attacked in a Beijing hotel by a man allegedly linked to a sex worker ring may have mistaken her for someone else, police say

By staff reporter Zhao Han

Police said on April 9 they had detained the alleged attacker and four other suspects linked to the ring. The man told police he harassed the female guest because he mistook her for an independent sex worker who was trying to steal business from his network.

silhouette-of-a-girlThe man was in the hotel slipping name cards with contact information of sex workers under room doors, police said.

The woman was attacked at the Yitel Hotel in the capital’s 798 Art District at about 11.00 p.m. on April 3. Footage from a surveillance camera that the woman posted on Sina Weibo, China’s version of Twitter, shows a man grabbing her in the hallway as she approached a room.

The video, which lasted about 3 minutes and 30 seconds, later shows the man looming over the woman while making a call. He then tries to drag her to a stairwell before another female guest intervenes, causing the man to flee. A hotel employee stands nearby as the scene unfolds, the video shows.

In her detailed account of what happened, the woman said the hotel worker asked her to be quiet when she was pleading for help and that he was reluctant to intervene. She also said the hotel management was slow to respond after she complained about the incident.

Several activists who advocate for sex workers told Caixin that hotels and entertainment establishments turn a blind eye to pimps operating on their premises, which might explain the indifferent attitude of the hotel staff and the slow reaction of its management.

Some hotels collude with pimps who are linked to larger prostitution rings, a person with knowledge of the matter said. A pimp who owned a stake in a popular hotel chain in Shanghai paid workers to place name cards in rooms so guests could order sex services. These workers also served as guards to protect sex workers and to deal with competitors. Hotel management is aware of these dealings, the source said. Read more

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