Sugarbook reportedly changes URL to avoid ban, gets clamped down again

Sugar daddy dating site Sugarbook reportedly changed its URL to Sucrebook after the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) recently banned access to it, according to media outlets. MCMC also raised concerns about the platform carrying out a "marketing gimmick" by claiming that more Malaysian women, especially university students, are signing up as sugarbabies on its site.

A check by A+M found that Sucrebook is now inaccessible and the webpage reflects a 404 server error, adding that the resource might have been removed, had its name changed, or is temporarily unavailable. Meanwhile, the original Sugarbook URL is still banned, with a notification stating that the website violates national laws. 

In a statement to A+M, Sugarbook's spokesperson said: "Sugarbook.com is only affected in Malaysia. Over time, we would have to invest more in SEO but at this moment, our extensive PR presence online makes up for it."

The spokesperson added that "it is heartbreaking that [Sugarbook] is banned in Malaysia". Nonetheless, it plans to expand into countries with high average revenue per unit.

MCMC said previously that allegations about more university students signing up as sugarbabies on Sugarbook need to be investigated for confirmation. It added that the risk of love scams will increase with as the risk of malware and spyware becomes more prevalent. Hence, it advised users of dating services to be careful when providing personal information on social media.

Meanwhile after the initial ban, Sugarbook's founder and CEO Darren Chan said in a statement that it is sorry it is not in a position to do more at this time. "We have a responsibility to help you with building modern relationships. If we cannot deliver, then we are not worthy to serve you," he said.

He added that the company believes the Malaysian government knows what is best for the people and acted in good faith. Hence, it is taking strict measures to ensure the ban does not happen in other countries. "I want to thank all of you who believed in our mission and helped build our community to what it is today," Chan said. Sugarbook is currently accessible in Singapore.

Separately, Sunway University has also condemned Sugarbook. CEO Elizabeth Lee said in a statement that it is "truly disappointed with a recent article about a company that challenges the moral fabric of our community and of our youth, while aiming to promote and profit from immoral and possibily illegal activity". This followed a Sugarbook infographic published online concerning the top 10 sugar baby universities in Malaysia. Sunway University topped the charts with 3,105 sugarbabies, according to the inforgraphic. INTI International University, Taylor's University, and TAR University College also made the top five rankings.

Lee said this is a "totally inaccurate reflection of our nation's students and other respectable institutions of higher education undermines our collective efforts in nurturing good citizens and developing a progressive nation".

"We are truly disappointed that an irresponsible company is willing to tarnish the good and sincere work of so many young minds for their own profit and gain in these challenging times. We condemn their attempts to encourage youth to partake in their immorality, normalise this notion and disregard the mental health impact this causes," Lee added.

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