Friday, February 08, 2013

Markets in Everything: Rent a Boyfriend

In China, online entrepreneurs have found a business niche by serving female lonely hearts: the rent a boyfriend business model

From the Telegraph (hat tip Carpe Diem's Mark Perry)
The Chinese New Year is fast approaching, and millions of girls will be schlepping home from their jobs in the city to their families in the countryside. According to the Globe and Mail, “Because so many Chinese live and work away from their native towns and villages, and travel home only once a year, the treasured family time is weighted with pressure to show what you’ve accomplished over the last 12 months.” It can be a particularly miserable experience for girls who don’t bring home a boyfriend, leading to endless questions about why they’re not dating and where their life’s going. In this sexist society, ladies over 27 who aren’t hitched are labelled “leftover women.”

Thankfully, the internet has a solution for all those loveless leftovers. If you don’t have a man to bring home to the folks, just rent one for the week.

Over 300 boyfriend-rental services are currently listed on the Chinese shopping site Taobao. One ad reads, “Not getting any younger and still dreading facing the nagging parents? Need a boyfriend to face the family?" If the answer is “yes” then a girl can pick from a wide range of boys who charge a flat rate plus commission on a whole host of thrilling activities.

No comments: