Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Markets in Everything: Boyfriend Rental in China

FT.COM -- "This is a tough time of year for Chinese spinsters. Chinese New Year is just around the corner and every single girl knows what her parents want most for the holidays: a betrothal. Girls of a certain age (say, 30) do not dare go home at all without one; and even women in their 20s feel serious pressure not to turn up for this Sunday’s traditional new year’s eve dinner without a marriage prospect in tow.

Now, thanks to Taobao (the Chinese version of Ebay) and the inventiveness of the Chinese entrepreneur, they do not need to: for as little as Rmb100 per day (about $16), Chinese singles can rent a boyfriend to take home for lunar new year.

Chatting up the parents is included in the price, while hand-holding and hugging sometimes cost extra. The boyfriend-substitute will even share a bedchamber with the customer, if that helps persuade the doubting parents. There seems little limit to the a la carte ingenuity of the companies that provide this service: some even offer to waive the fee if the girl and guy share the same bed."

HT: Andrew Biggs

19 Comments:

At 1/18/2012 11:41 AM, Blogger sethstorm said...

That's a double serving of immorality. First the sale of the flesh, then the illusion of marriage.

Not a single bit of sincerity in any bit of it at all. Then again, if one invokes the word entrepreneur, even the worst sins get (improperly) cleansed.

 
At 1/18/2012 11:49 AM, Blogger Jon Murphy said...

Wow...that's an amazing bit of brilliance right there. 100RMB is about $14 give-or-take. Not bad for someone to take home for one day. A dinner would cost you that.

 
At 1/18/2012 11:50 AM, Blogger Marko said...

Home much does it cost to fly to China?

 
At 1/18/2012 12:14 PM, Blogger Buddy R Pacifico said...

"...if one invokes the word entrepreneur, even the worst sins get (improperly) cleansed."

Rediculous comment invoked.

 
At 1/18/2012 1:32 PM, Blogger Jon Murphy said...

Marko:

Economy class would run you about $4g from the East Coast, round trip and you'll magically lose a day and then live the same day twice.

 
At 1/18/2012 2:07 PM, Blogger morganovich said...

seth-

you never been to china, have you?

 
At 1/18/2012 2:08 PM, Blogger morganovich said...

this is my favorite part:

"But Mr Zhu trumps them all with his offer that, for Rmb500, clients can shout at, abuse and generally belittle his escorts for an entire day. Has he had any takers for this “harridan special”? Just one so far – “but we turned her down because we were afraid she would beat us”.

 
At 1/18/2012 4:26 PM, Blogger juandos said...

There you go sethstorm, you can go to China and be a 'round eye' male hooker...

 
At 1/18/2012 4:57 PM, Blogger OBloodyHell said...

>>> First the sale of the flesh, then the illusion of marriage.

I didn't see any overt "sale of flesh" there. Sharing a bedchamber does not require coitus, it just means you're in the same room together in private. You can both (amazingly) be in sexless pajamas and stick to different sides of the bed.


>>> Then again, if one invokes the word entrepreneur, even the worst sins get (improperly) cleansed.

Since WHEN are you all high and mighty on morality? Oh, right:

When one invokes the word "Seth", then all manner of inanely ignorant and ill-considered stupidities spout forth. Like the utterly ridiculous italicized bloviation immediately above.

 
At 1/18/2012 8:06 PM, Blogger Marko said...

Thanks Jon - I would need to eat and sleep with a very large number of Chinese women to earn the $4k to fly out there, but this is a fine entrepreneurial opportunity for someone that can make it out there cheaper.

 
At 1/18/2012 11:27 PM, Blogger OBloodyHell said...

>>> for someone that can make it out there cheaper.

A word there needs to be elided:

...for someone that can make out there cheaper.

Glad I could help fix that fer ya...
:oP

 
At 1/19/2012 3:36 AM, Blogger kmg said...

This is stupid. When the actor ends up not marrying the woman, then she has to make up some story about a breakup for them anyway.

It shifts the problem from one place to another. Nothing more.

 
At 1/19/2012 3:37 AM, Blogger kmg said...

What idiot says a plane ticket to China costs $4000?

More like $800. Eight hundred dollars.

I am amazed at how little international exposure some dingbats have (as well as an inability to check prices online).

 
At 1/19/2012 7:44 AM, Blogger Methinks said...

Brilliant idea.

This is interesting to me, though. I was under the impression that there is a bit of a shortage of women in China.

A combination of the one child rule and a strong preference for sons, the Chinese have tended to abort female fetuses.

 
At 1/19/2012 7:46 AM, Blogger Methinks said...

It shifts the problem from one place to another. Nothing more.

Shifting problems to places where they are more manageable is one of the skills one learns over time. It's actually quite a valuable skill.

 
At 1/19/2012 9:10 AM, Blogger Jon Murphy said...

What idiot says a plane ticket to China costs $4000?

I'm that idiot. When I flew out to Beijing from Toronto, it cost me just over 4k in airfare, round trip. I have the receipt, if you'd like to see it.

 
At 1/19/2012 9:22 AM, Blogger sethstorm said...


morganovich said...

No, and I don't plan to do so.

Even if it's for purely platonic purposes, it still is for a lie.




juandos said...

No. Completely turned off.

 
At 1/20/2012 9:27 AM, Blogger juandos said...

kmg says: "More like $800. Eight hundred dollars"...

You actually would enjoy flying that far in cattle class?

 
At 1/20/2012 9:29 AM, Blogger juandos said...

"it still is for a lie"...

Well sethstorm, why would you of all people consider a lie a problem?!?!

 

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