The now-banned sugar dating platform is skirting online media restrictions by adding French flavor to its website address.
Sugarbook changed its name to “Sucrebook” in its URL, according to checks by Coconuts today, a day after the Malaysian media authorities prohibited access to the page over the company’s report about local universities being hotspots for sugar babies.
“Sugarbook.com IS BANNED IN MALAYSIA. Sucrebook.com IS NOW THE OFFICIAL WEBSITE,” a note at the top of the page said when logged in. The website added that it would ban users who use the platform for “adult contents, escorts, prostitution or any form of fraudulent activities.” The rest of the website looks relatively the same.
In an email 5pm today, Sugarbook founder Darren Chan confirmed the ban in Malaysia.
“You may have heard about the ban on Sugarbook in Malaysia. I’m sorry that we’re not in a position to do more at this time,” Sugarbook founder Darren Chan said after this article was published. Chan added that he would make sure his business in four other countries including Singapore, Hong Kong, Thailand and the United States would not be affected.
“We believe that our Malaysian government knows what’s best for the people and acted in good faith. So, we’re taking strict measures to ensure the ban does not happen in other countries,” he added.
The Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission, or MCMC, banned Sugarbook’s website after the company published a data report it said showed the top ten local universities where people can find sugar babies. Sunway University in Petaling Jaya, which was ranked No. 1, objected to the findings.
In its statement, MCMC said that Sugarbook’s data report was a “marketing gimmick” and that claims made in it should be investigated.
“The MCMC is concerned about the recent marketing gimmick by ‘sugar daddy-sugar baby’ dating site Sugarbook that claimed many Malaysian women, especially university students, have offered themselves as ‘sugar babies’ on its app,” the authority said in its statement, which began with MCMC noting that online apps could “open doors to immoral activities including, illicit relationships, and prostitution.”
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