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