Here in the U.S., we like to joke around and dub Valentines Day as “Single Awareness Day“. Well, China has a specific day to celebrate being single and that day is today: Happy Chinese Single’s Day!
According to sources, young Chinese women are under so much pressure by their parents to present worthy boyfriends that some resort to renting fake ones in time for that family gathering.
Aside from accompanying you back home to meet your parents, services can also include attending social gathering with friends and other activities a true significant other would do.
According to Shanghai Daily:
Clean-cut, bespectacled and financially secure Matthew Fan, 27, started to “rent” himself out as a fake boyfriend two years ago. He’s single.
“I wanted to earn some pocket money when I had just graduated from university and started to work,” says the Chongqing native who works full-time as an accounts manager. “This rental business isn’t bad, especially during the Chinese Lunar New Year when there are family reunions.”
Fan might not be handsome, but he’s attractive enough and he’s definitely reassuring to anxious parents who want their daughters to demonstrate they have a viable marriage prospect, a steady boyfriend.
Prices can range from 500 yuan ($82.08 USD) to 8,000 yuan ($1313.35 USD) per day depending on the services. All expenses including dining, accommodations, and traveling are to be taken care of by the renter. Despite what some of you may think, no sexual services are provided.
The price list per hour can be quite detailed. In some cases, dining is 50 yuan an hour (the employer pays), shopping 30 yuan, seeing a movie 30 yuan (double price for a thriller). A by-courtesy-only kiss costs 50 yuan, which will also include a free embrace, free hand-holding and a free goodbye kiss on the cheek or forehead.
Where can you get these services you ask? A quick search on Taobao.com will yield hundreds of results of companies renting boyfriends and girlfriends. Some of these companies are so legit that they require their clients to sign contracts detailing services and event insurance for injuries and loss of private property. However, these companies operate without a business license and legal counsel holds that the contracts provided are not legitimate.
Even IF “no sexual favors are allowed”, would you say that these services are still borderline prostitution? What does it say for Chinese culture when young women have to resort to lying to their parents like this? Make some noise in the comments below!