TAIPEI (Reuters) - A set of Taiwan metro cards featuring pictures of a Japanese porn star sold out on Tuesday within hours of going on sale at midnight, the company said.
Commuters had snapped up every so-called EasyCard bearing a picture of fully clothed Japanese adult film actress Yui Hatano by 4.18 a.m.
Responding to a public outcry and demands from Taipei's mayor, the EasyCard Corp at the last minute decided to limit sales of the 30,000 cards to telephone orders only.
It had previously maintained the cards, in which Hatano poses in "angel" and "devil" poses, would be sold at various outlets, including convenience stores.
"We apologize for the huge public controversy we have caused," the company said in a statement posted on its website.
Taipei's mayor Ko Wen-je also on Monday exhorted the company "not to let this kind of thing happen again".
The "angel" card shows Yui smiling, dressed in white. The "devil" version shows her dressed in black and shooting a sultry gaze at the camera. Pornography is conspicuous by its absence.
Taiwan is one of Asia's most liberal societies, though conservative attitudes persist among the older generation and in religious communities.
Hatano, 27, was recently ranked the No.9 porn star in Asia, according to erotic video website Xvideos.com.
($1 = 32.4 Taiwan dollars)
Reporting by Michael Gold; Editing by Nick Macfie