Pick-up 'teacher' detained and fined

Police say courses telling men how to attract women are being used as a cover for illegal activities.

A man has been detained for five days for building a website selling illegal PUA (pick-up artist) courses and disseminating illegal information involving fraud and pornography. 

Police in Jiangsu Province said PUA courses, initially teaching men how to to improve their social skills in order to attract the opposite sex, had evolved into sharing experiences of seduction and sexual conquests. Some suspects used PUA as a cover for unlawful activities such as propagating obscene content or blackmailing and extortion, police said. 

This seriously endangered public safety and, especially, women’s rights, they said.

Xu, who was also fined 50,000 yuan (US$7,335), had violated China’s cyber security law and the website and related communication groups had been shut down.

The 24-year-old from Lianyungang in Jiangsu made a profit of about 30,000 yuan by selling PUA courses on a website with a title that translates as “Alliance of extremely evil people.” 

The courses used text, pictures and videos to teach men how to pretend they were successful, to “raise a girl as a pet,” squeeze money from women, make them become irrational, and abet them to harm themselves, even to the extent of committing suicide, police said. 

Each course cost around 1,000 yuan, The Beijing News reported, citing an official surnamed Song from Jiangsu’s cyber police.

Song said there had been controversy about the application of the law in such cases, with many legal experts of the view that PUA was a moral issue, “so authorities normally just deleted the information and shut the website when handling such cases.”

In Xu’s case, police decided it was not a simple matter of morality as women were being encouraged to harm themselves or commit suicide. Lewd videos were also being posted online. 

Song told the newspaper: “The investigation of PUA is very difficult but such courses are very harmful to women, physically and mentally.” 

In a report by the newspaper last year, its reporters found a man using social networks to teach PUA courses entitled “Five steps to trap women and control their emotions.”  

He not only taught his “students” how to disguise their identities and cheat, but also encouraged them to post pornographic pictures and videos to “share successful results.”

The “five steps” ranged from fabricating an identity to draw women in to emotional abuse that might drive women to harm themselves or even commit suicide. 

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