Carpe Diem

Markets in everything: Asian edition

1. Rent-a-Boyfriend in China: “Because so many Chinese live and work away from their native towns and villages, and travel home only once a year for the New Year holiday, the treasured family time is weighted with pressure to show what you’ve accomplished over the last 12 months. For many young women, showing up at home with a pleasant-looking, well-behaved boyfriend – even if your family never sees him again – is better than enduring two weeks of questions about why there’s no marriage or kids on the horizon.”

Well, the Chinese women can now rent boyfriends to take home for the holidays, see stories here, here (quoted above) and here. There are more than 300 boyfriend-rental services currently listed on the Chinese shopping website Taobao, here’s an example: “Boyfriend for rent, 300 yuan a day [$48], holding hands and hugs free, appropriate kisses 50 yuan, talking to old people 30 yuan an hour, others we’ll talk about it when we meet … Accommodation and transport costs paid by the woman.”

2. Funeral weepers for hire in Taiwan. For families in Taiwan struggling to come to terms with the death of a loved one, professional mourners can be hired to put on a show at the funeral, see stories here and here.

4 thoughts on “Markets in everything: Asian edition

  1. This is stunning. With a ratio of 122 men per 100 women, are these Chinese women so undesirable that they have to rent a boyfriend? Or are the Chinese men so undesirable that there only a few choice ones?

    Clearly, I’m not understanding something.

    • Females can afford to be picky. But that doesn’t change the family pressures. Basically, some females live in the city, miles away from their family. The either don’t have or don’t want a boyfriend, but don’t want to go home without one. A single girl at home would face pressure from her family asking why she isn’t married, why she doesn’t have a boyfriend, etc etc. So, she deals with it by hiring a guy to be her boyfriend for a day.

  2. I presume their are services in China offering rent-a-girlfriend as well. There are certainly many of them on the US internet.

    Come to think about it, it is a pretty good idea.

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