China has some interesting matchmaking and dating practices. There are love hunters who track down potential wives for China’s richest bachelors and there are “leftover women”, who are criticised for being over 27 and unmarried.
In some cases, when a male dies too young, families have “ghost marriages”, exhuming female corpses and marrying the pair.
So, it’s natural for many young Chinese to want to allay their parents’ anxiety over their single-dom. And now they can take to Alibaba owned online retailer Taobao, tweets George Chen at South China Morning Post. That’s the equivalent of shopping for a date on Amazon or eBay.
People’s Daily reported that use of these services picks up around Single’s Day and Chinese New Year which is expected to fall around January 30 this year. So we thought we’d have a look at just how Taobao’s rent a boyfriend feature works.
If you look to rent a boyfriend, 301 listings pop up and rates vary from 300 yuan a day to 8.80 yuan, though that gentleman hasn’t said if it’s an hourly rate:
The users understandably don’t always provide a name, and some don’t even put in a photo of themselves.
Once you’ve picked a “boyfriend” you’d like to date you can click on his profile and look at the services he offers and so on. The arrow on top shows that he “ships to” Guangzhou but is willing to travel nationally too. The arrow below shows the section in which he describes himself and the services he’s willing to offer.
He describes himself as kind, as someone who likes dogs, and someone who parents like. He also says it will cost more if the renter needs him to drink or dress a certain way.
You can also look up reviews that potential “boyfriend” has received. This one seems to have chalked up two, though it’s hard to tell if they’re real or not.
Finally you can also see how he’s shaped up. This guy’s profile suggests there were 10 attempts at renting him, though only two appear to have been successful.
Meanwhile, if you try and rent a girlfriend the site brings up a message that loosely translates to “according to related laws and regulations we can not show search results for rent a girlfriend.” Sorry fellas, you’re going to have go the more traditional route.