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EMAILED ON December 11, 2017 BY Zachary Crockett

China is rebranding its rural towns… one sex shop at a time

Yucheng, China is a placid little town, known mostly for its grapes and turtle ponds.

But recently, government officials there came up with an interesting ploy to boost the local economy: they signed a $1.5B USD private contract to turn the locale into a “Happy Town” full of sex toy shops, adult-only hotels, a sex exhibition center, and what is life anymore??

It’s part of a larger initiative to make China “charming”

As reported by the South China Morning Post, Yucheng is one of approximately 1k cities across the country that the central government plans to revamp as part of President Xi Jinping’s vision of making China “a beautiful country” by 2050.

The plan calls for rural towns to partner with private developers or businesses, come up with a gimmick or “theme” that revolves around a particular industry, and “rebrand” themselves into strange cultural hubs within 3 years.

But China’s really trying to address its inequality problem

Rapid urbanization in China has come with an unsavory byproduct: the growing gap between the rich and poor is largely divided along urban/rural lines, and underdeveloped areas have been left in economic ruin.

Rural Chinese residents make less than a third of those in cities, and many don’t have basic resources like sewage or clean water.

The “charming towns” plan is (purportedly) an effort to bridge the gap and restore industry to these areas.

And in Yucheng’s case, that industry just happens to be dildos.

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