China Said to Be Dominating Sex Toy Market

Rhett Pardon

HONG KONG — It may not surprise you, but a report in the Want China Times says that more than half of the world’s adult toys are manufactured in China.

Ng Man-Lun, a Hong Kong-based sexologist and psychiatrist, said it is estimated that more than 50 percent of sex products sold worldwide are made here. He continued to say that the Chinese are big consumers too, as they took a 70 percent market share in 2008.

Sales of adult toys in China passed 100 million yuan, or $15.9 million, in 2008, and the figure is expected to continue growing at 20 percent a year, according to the report.

"The sex products industry is thriving in China," the report said.

The report cited a survey released last year that found that most buyers were men, while most users were women. A customer spent an average 1,823 yuan, or $289, a year on sex products, a 30 percent increase from 2010.

The majority of purchasers were between 20 and 50 years old, and the most popular sex products were sex toys, massage oil and lingerie, the report said.

Within the industry, sex dolls are one of the hottest sellers, with one factory in eastern China's Zhejiang province making an average of 800 dolls a day, according to the Times report. That factory owner said that the facility produced 70,000 dolls in 2010, worth a total of 5 million yuan, or $792,700.

Most of the dolls were sold in major cities in the southern provinces of Guangdong and Fujian, as well as in Beijing, while some were also exported to South Korea, Japan and Turkey, the factory owner said.

China's first sex shop, an outlet that opened in Beijing in 1993, started a trend and similar stores have popped up nationwide.

Now, China can count on more than 1,000 factories that produce sex toys and novelties. The industry, the report said, is almost completely free of government regulations.