Chinese sex doll rental service suspended amid controversy
A Chinese company offering sex dolls for rent has withdrawn its services just days after launching.
Touch had begun offering five different sex doll types for daily or longer-term rent on Thursday in Beijing but quickly drew complaints and criticism.
The company said in a statement on Weibo it "sincerely apologised for the negative impact" of the concept.
But the firm stressed sex was "not vulgar" and said it would keep working towards more people enjoying it.
Touch told the BBC the rental service had operated for two days and had garnered a lot of interest and requests.
"We prepared ten dolls for the trial operation," a company spokesperson said via email, adding that they received very positive feedback from users.
"But it's really hard in China," the firm wrote, saying there had been a lot of controversy with the police over the issue.
The company had offered the sex dolls for a daily fee of 298 yuan (£34; $46), according to Chinese media.
The models on offer were marketed as Chinese, Korean and Russian women, with one also modelled on the movie character Wonder Woman, complete with a sword and shield.
In its Weibo statement, the firm said its original intention had been to make expensive silicone dolls more affordable but conceded that the service triggered a heated public debate.
The company also said it would pay out compensation to users worth double the amount they had paid as a deposit for reserving a doll.
The statement added that Touch would in future pay more attention to its "social duty", and would actively promote a "healthier and more harmonious sex lifestyle".
Aside from its short-lived rental offering, the firm sells an array of sex toys, including sex dolls.