Visitors to China’s numerous car shows are accustomed to seeing scantily clad models draping themselves over the vehicles on display. But an auto show in the city of Wuhan shocked attendees when they noticed that the models in question were just five years-old – and wearing bikinis. According to the Shanghai Daily “tens of thousands of netizens expressed their fury at the girls’ parents”, and lambasted the show’s organisers for “crossing the moral red line”. In a Sina Weibo poll more than 11,700 said the show should not have used children as bikini models, after photos and videos showing the children mimicking older models and striking “sexy” poses went viral online. “Now even little girls have fallen victim to the pursuit of profit,” wrote a disgusted netizen. But one of the show’s organisers seemed nonplussed by the outcry, telling the Chutian Golden Newspaper that it had only wanted to provide a platform for the children “to boost their confidence”. At least one of the parents relented after reading the deluge of criticism on the web. Surnamed Li, the woman said she deeply regretted her decision to allow her child to pose at the show: “I will never send her to such activities again.”
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