You read that right folks, you can rent a girlfriend or boyfriend in China for the holidays! Before your imagination gets carried away, let us explain.
For argument’s sake, let us say you are a 30-something young professional working in the big city. You are as single as ever and not getting any younger (as your dear aunt loves to remind you).
Your parents will not stop nagging you about marriage and giving them grandchildren, but for you a relationship just isn’t in the cards right now.
How do you get the fam off your back? Bring somebody home, of course! And what if you can’t (or simply don’t want to) meet a significant other before heading home for Spring Festival? You can rent them!
Don't get too excited just yet. Hiring somebody to pose as your boo can get pricey pretty quickly. While renting a boy/girlfriend is popular enough throughout the year for apps (yes, there are apps!) to boast subscriber numbers near the 1 million mark, holidays such as the Spring Festival often cause rental activity and prices to soar.
Depending on peak seasons, amount of detail to the deception, and other oftentimes superficial criteria, fake significant others can charge anywhere from 1RMB to 10,000RMB per day. It is also common practice for the rented party to charge travel expenses on top of the rental fee. It is a business, after all.
Like in any other business, contracts are also normal. Before meeting the renter’s family, the fake couple often establishes rules for the “relationship”, including clauses on physical affection, inventing details of their history together, and any extra conditions or stipulations either party may have.
As you can probably imagine, the business of lover rental has its naysayers, who hold there is a shady side to the industry in a country where the world’s so-called “oldest profession” is illegal.
Irrespective of any potentially seedy goingson, there are some undeniable risks involved when meeting strangers from online. Still, this does little to deter those who need a boy/girlfriend ASAP. If you do choose to partake in the trend, just be careful and stay alert!
Now that you know about the industry, would you rent a lover? Would you sign up to be rented?
Let us know in the comments!