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Entertaining Clients in Hostess Bars Is Still a Thing In Asia

  • Drinking in hostess clubs prevalent even amid #MeToo movement
  • Male bonding in such clubs popular in China, Korea, Japan
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Despite #MeToo, Asia’s hostess clubs continue to thrive. "How could this still exist?" Professor Nemoto explains(Source: Bloomberg)

In Tokyo’s Ginza, Seoul’s Gangnam and Beijing’s Chaoyang financial district a familiar scene plays out almost every night of the work week. As dusk falls, businessmen flock to karaoke and hostess clubs to close deals and build relationships in the liquor-lubricated intimacy of young women.

Call it bonding over vice. It’s a culture that sits uneasily with the #MeToo movement that has swept across Europe and the U.S. In parts of Asia, corporate men continue to openly drink with colleagues or business clients at venues where women escorts are paid to consume alcohol, sing karaoke and -- often illegally-- perform sexual favors, according to interviews with men and women including Regina Yuan, who works at a Shanghai-based startup.