Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba has removed child sex dolls from its AliExpress online marketplace following an enquiry by HKFP.

Photo: AliExpress screenshot.

A listing entitled “Japanese girl silicone sex doll head suit” was found on Friday on sale for US$170.43 with free shipping to Hong Kong.

“AliExpress does not tolerate offensive, illicit or illegal or fraudulent behavior on our platforms,” a spokesperson for Alibaba told HKFP when asked if the product was within its guidelines. “We have identified and removed listings which were in violation with our policy.”

The item in question, featuring a photograph of a childlike doll, had been removed from sale by Friday evening. “We will continue to take action against sellers which violate our marketplace terms and conditions,” the spokesperson added.

The move comes after a BBC investigation uncovered similar listings on competing shopping site Amazon.

“Such dolls are clearly built for one purpose and that purpose is a clear danger to the safety of real children,” England’s Children’s Commissioner told the broadcaster, urging online retailers to explain how such items had appeared on their platforms in the first place.

Photo: Amazon screenshot.

Last July, a UK judge ruled that child sex dolls were covered by the 1979 Customs and Excise Management Act, meaning it is unlawful to import them, though not illegal to possess or manufacture one.

Last September, a British man was handed a year-long suspended sentence for importing a childlike sex doll from Hong Kong. Simon Glerum, 33, was convicted two months after a 72-year-old was prosecuted for importing a 3ft 10in doll. according to The Independent.

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Tom Grundy

Tom is the editor-in-chief and co-founder of Hong Kong Free Press. He has a BA in Communications & New Media from Leeds University and an MA in Journalism from the University of Hong Kong. He has contributed to the BBC, Euronews, Quartz, Global Post and others.