Chinese social media was in a frenzy last week. The cause was an impassioned sex tape apparently shot in the fitting room of a Uniqlo clothing store in a popular Beijing shopping mall and posted online.
Now Chinese state media report that five people have been arrested in connection with the incident. Two of those include the couple in the video, while the identities of the other parties aren’t yet clear.
Police are also investigating whether Uniqlo manufactured the incident as a publicity stunt, state media reports—a claim Uniqlo has already officially denied. But if found responsible, the Japanese retailer could face a fine of 200,000 to 1 million yuan (about $30,000 to $100,000) and could even have its license to operate in the country revoked.
Anyone found to be involved could potentially face criminal charges as well. Pornography is illegal in China, and not just in a perfunctory sense—China has carried out extensive operations against pornography in its bid to tighten its control over media in the country.
The affair, meanwhile, has caused great amusement in the Chinese public. The video, as well as memes and jokes about it, went viral on Chinese social outlets, such as Weibo and WeChat. People were even making pilgrimages to the Uniqlo location where it originated to take selfies and check out the fitting rooms.
But officials say the video clashes “with socialist core values.” And while the rest of the country is chuckling, they’re scrambling to squash the whole episode.