A Chinese woman claimed to have found a needle in a menstrual pad, packaged with branding from Space7 (七度空间), one of the best-known sanitary napkin manufacturers in China.
The customer, who has only been identified by her surname, Tang, documented her finding over the weekend in a viral video (in Chinese) shot with her phone. The video shows her slowly unwrapping the pad and then, as she displays the needle, saying: “God! Oh, my mother!” (老天爷！我的妈耶!).
Social media users were horrified, with one saying they would “stop buying Space7’s products” and another calling the incident “basically an attempted murder.” The clip has been making the rounds on Weibo since being posted on Saturday, with a related hashtag (in Chinese) generating more than 500 million views on the platform as of today.
In a phone interview with Dianshi News, the woman said (in Chinese) that she wanted to alert other consumers to her shocking discovery and encourage them to thoroughly check their menstrual products before usage. She also raised questions about Space7’s quality control, saying that the incident could have been avoided if the company had strengthened its inspection of products in some ways before they reached customers, like implementing “a screening of metal pieces.”
However, Wang added that she hadn’t totally ruled out other possibilities about the origins of the needle. “It’s likely that the pad was contaminated after it was packaged and left the factory,” she said.
The China Vibe.
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Space7 responded to Wang’s claim in a statement released on June 6. In a Weibo post (in Chinese), the company wrote that it had launched an internal investigation into the matter and gotten “in touch with” Wang immediately after seeing her post. “We are deeply sorry for causing safety concerns among our customers,” it said. The company didn’t issue a recall, but said that it would “disclose the investigation results to the public” as soon as possible.
This is not the first time that Space7 has drawn flak over allegedly contaminated items, but last time when a customer claimed (in Chinese) that she found bugs in the company’s menstrual pad, the product turned out to be a counterfeit sold by a fraudulent vender on Taobao, at a price much lower than what is typical for a Space7 pad.
China has a period problem. While some advocates and volunteers are working to provide free menstrual products at schools, there are still a significant number of people living in poverty who cannot afford them. Period poverty — defined as lack of knowledge of menstruation and an inability to access safe, basic sanitary materials — is a common experience in China, and it has driven many women to buy brandless, cheap menstrual supplies at the expense of their safety and comfort.
Jiayun Feng was born in Shanghai, where she spent her first 20 years and earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism at Fudan University. Interested in writing for a global audience, she attended the NYU Graduate School of Journalism for its Global & Joint Program Studies, which allowed her to pursue a journalism career along with her interest in international relations. She has previously interned for Sixth Tone and Shanghai Daily. Read more
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