Chinese women seek boyfriends for hire

Societal and parental pressures on China's single women over the long holiday make companion rentals a big business.

By Jason Notte Feb 13, 2013 2:41PM
Image: Businessman in China ( Brooklyn Production/Corbis)Much like Joey Ramone, there are several gentlemen in China who wanna be your boyfriend. It's going to cost you, though, and their hourly rate starts at the price of a downloaded Ramones album.


With Chinese Lunar New Year and Valentine's Day so close on the calendar this year, ABC News is reporting that Chinese shopping site Taobao has seen an 884% spike in searches for the Chinese characters that translate to "rent-a-boyfriend."


The search results list payment plans that start at $8 an hour for a night at the movies, $16 if it's a horror movie and a sliding scale of fees for basic conversation, dinner parties, a night out for drinks or meeting the parents.


The Chinese aren't alone in the friend rental business, as such U.S. websites as RentAFriend.com lend out companions for sporting events, movies, city tours and even prom dates for a fee. The stakes are a bit higher in China, however, as ABC News notes the parental and societal pressure on women to find a companion and get married is much more intense than it is in the U.S. overall.


The state media refers to women over age 27 as "leftover" women. China's arbitrary societal cutoff for marriage at age 26 recalls the disparaging Japanese term for single women of that age and older: Christmas cake, an item nobody wants after Dec. 25. With single Chinese women heading home for weeks at a time to mark the New Year, the idea of having someone around to get the parents off their back is driving an entire industry.


One rent-a-boyfriend site cited by ABC charges $1.45 a day for wake-up calls and tacks on the cost of "boyfriend" mobile minutes as an extra charge. Want someone to go shopping with you in your hometown? That's $6.42 an hour. The cost of a party pal or drinking partner varies by the length of the party and what you're drinking, but an all-inclusive package goes for $128 a day. Handshakes, hugs and goodbye kisses on the cheeks or forehead are free.


If this seems a little too “Midnight Cowboy” for comfort, just know there are some big paperwork differences between boyfriend services and the escort industry. For one, there are "no sex" clauses in the contract that entitle customers to a full refund if there are unwelcome advances and result in jail time for a handsy boyfriend-for-hire once the cops get involved. If it works out, however, the matchmaking fee can get far more costly than a few dinners with mom and dad.


More on moneyNOW

Tags: Drama
74Comments
Feb 13, 2013 6:42PM
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I think that all Chinese women are more intelligent than Chinese men. heheh that's why they are doing that.
Feb 13, 2013 6:36PM
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Life`s hard to figure.My nephew is a great guy and when he went to Ball state university

girls outnumbered guys 3 to 1 and he got stood up for dates.

Feb 13, 2013 6:31PM
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selected murder of millions of female fetus's and babies has it's problems!

Feb 13, 2013 6:10PM
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To the 'BeingHonest080312'

... Love your comment. I got a pretty good laugh. That is my laugh of the day... Thanks buddy...

Feb 13, 2013 6:08PM
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Nice to read about a place where the radical feminists are apparently...........minimal.
Feb 13, 2013 5:59PM
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Like so many other things in China,  it's all about putting on a front.  There's an unbelievable amount of pretense and fakery in everything they do just to appear to be great.  Hidden agendas abound.
But actually the Chinese people all know that,  so this whole deal might just be a short term trend and nothing more.

Feb 13, 2013 5:41PM
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hmmm wonder if the movie would be the only horror on such a date?
Feb 13, 2013 5:40PM
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I have been to China 5 times over the last 7 years and in MY opinion there are NO shortage of Chinese women.  All I can say if I was much younger no one would need to pay me for shared time.  I personally feel many Chinese women are very attractive and desirable.
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Ha! I think we're getting dumber as a species by the day.
Feb 13, 2013 5:36PM
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Since I am three times as good looking as those guys in China, I will charge three times as much money as they do.   Want something extra?    Pay more.     :)
Feb 13, 2013 5:31PM
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Isn't the ratio in China like 6 men to 1 woman?  Are these women nuts?
Feb 13, 2013 5:28PM
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I cant even Type im laughing so hard this was awesome the things you read on the Internet?
Feb 13, 2013 5:25PM
Feb 13, 2013 5:23PM
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After she gets a load of my 'Monster Johnson' she'll be payin a bonus big time after I 'put it to her'!

Feb 13, 2013 5:20PM
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damn godless chings. me NOT so hooney.

they dogs,cats and other poor animals..

what a WEIRD Country full of Wackos chings...

Feb 13, 2013 5:11PM
Feb 13, 2013 4:50PM
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DO NOT ORDER THE ASAIN DELIGHT! TRUST ME!
Feb 13, 2013 4:49PM
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I see a potential movie here.  There are just so many scenarios one can imagine.  Like a scene where they get into an argument  and the guy says to her "just leave me alone you, you Christmas cake!"  and she starts crying and he's like "I, I didn't mean it baby" and they kiss for real and fall in love!  That's the Hollywood ending anyway.
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