China's newest business venture is booming, thanks to a pair of holidays that are happening within days of each other. Chinese New Year and Valentine's Day happen to fall very close together in 2013, and it's proving valuable to the new rent a boyfriend and girlfriend business that's growing in the country.
According to ABC News, internet searches for "rental boyfriend" have exploded in the past year. In China, there is a focus on finding a potential mate, especially on women. State media even puts an emphasis on it, referring to single females over 27-years-old as "leftover women."
With that kind of pressure hanging of your head, why wouldn't you want to rent a boyfriend for a day or a week? Prices for a companion vary. Something as simple as going to the movies would cost the equivalent of $8 an hour, however if it's a scary movie the price doubles. There are rates for meals, conversations, and even going home to meet the parents.
A man who asked to be identified as Mr. Gao owns two online flower shops that he has recently expanded into the boyfriend rental business. "There are many reasons why women pay for this service," Gao says, "Some are trying to make their boyfriends jealous. Some want to bring a boyfriend to attend their company's annual dinner party to show their bosses that they are settled and stable."
Gao offers several options, everything from a daily wake up call ($1.45 per day) to all-inclusive packages that cost around $128 per day. What isn't included in the contact is sexual relations. All of Gao's contracts contain a "no sex clause." If a rental boyfriend makes unwelcome advances toward a client, she gets a refund and can call the cops. On the other hand, if the customer makes the unwanted advance then the date ends, and there is no refund.
There's always the possibility that love could blossom. Gao would be in favor of that too, provided he gets what he deserves out of it. "They need to give me a big red envelope full of cash for being their matchmaker."
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