14-Year-Old Working at Shanghai Club Mook Sparks Concern

A father who discovered his 14-year-old daughter was working as a hostess in Shanghai club Mook has made headlines in China. Officials say they will further inspect entertainment venues over the business of teenage girls working as bar girls.

The case of a teenage girl working as a hostess at a Shanghai bar made headlines in China, after her father sought help from the media in hopes of getting his daughter home safely.

The father, named Zhang (alias), discovered that his daughter of barely 14 years old was working as a bar girl in Shanghai’s Club Mook on Nanjing Road, where she was selling alcohol while wearing revealing clothes. The bar officially has an age limit of 18.

Shanghai Daily quotes the man, who spoke to local radio, saying: “I didn’t believe it at first until I saw her sitting behind the bar, wearing heavy make-up, cosmetic contact lenses and false eyelashes (..) Her cleavage was exposed, and I was scared to death when I saw her like that.”

Although the father tried to persuade his daughter to come home, the girl reportedly fled from the bar’s back door. When she refused to come home and blocked her father’s phone calls, Zhang turned to the police and local media for help.

The girl, who has now finally returned home, allegedly told her father that there were al least six other girls from the ages of 13-15 were working in the club, and that one of them has not returned home for a year.

Local journalists went to Club Mook to further investigate the matter and confirmed that minor girls are working at the bar despite the bar’s official age limit.

According to Shanghai Daily, authorities said they would further inspect entertainment venues across the Shanghai district of Jing’an.

Mook is a popular nightclub in Shanghai’s city center (Nanjing Xi Lu) that attracts both local and foreign crowds. According to SmartShanghai, the club has a dance area and VIP rooms, and is known for featuring paid models and western dancers.

The case of the 14-year-old girl attracted the attention of netizens on Weibo. “I am 21 years old, and I have never even been in a bar,” one woman wrote. Many Weibo users are shocked and do not understand why girls who are still in junior high school can work at a nightclub.

But there are also those who are not surprised: “In many of these Shanghai clubs the girls are all born after 2000.”

Beijing Youth Daily reported about the case, saying that the girl cannot be blamed; instead “her parents are in the wrong for not disciplining her enough, the bar is to be blamed for mismanagement, and the school is also at fault for lacking supervision over their students.”

Club Mook has not responded to the matter. Promoting its upcoming events on its official Weibo page, the bar’s business seems to be unaffected by the trending news.

– By Manya Koetse
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About the author: Manya Koetse is the editor-in-chief of www.whatsonweibo.com. She is a writer and consultant (Sinologist, MPhil) on social trends in China, with a focus on social media and digital developments, Sino-Japanese relations and gender issues. Contact at manya@whatsonweibo.com, or follow on Twitter.

3 comments

Weibo users are shocked, as always. Instead of blaming parents, school (!), or even the bar itself, how about blaming the patrons of these bars (i.e. Chinese society and what it has become) who really “appreciate” under-age girls for example.

Really? Its been common knowledge of underage kids frequenting the clubs in Shanghai… if you want a real story go to Pheobe. It’s basically a highschool.

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