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 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
Feb 14, 2013 9:34AM
I think a lot people here misunderstood the problem. It is a cultural thing to cause well-educated women to find husbands/boyfirends because in ASIAN culture a man is supposed to be the breadwinner. Once a woman got higher education or earning more than her husband or boyfriend, men start to feel shamed and to run away from.

Feb 14, 2013 1:44AM
Was I born a few Decades too many..?
Feb 13, 2013 8:54PM
Everything I see at the stores is "made in China" !  A friend was telling me she and her hubby just returned from picking up an adopted child in China, , ,I guess they forget "how", or children must be  cheaper if made in china"?  Illegal Chinese immigration was also considered a serious problem to the US at one time, , has the problem been lost in the rubble of everything else?  I have nothing against the Chinese people, the women can be such Dolls and hardworking too!  I would like to adopt two or three.
Feb 13, 2013 8:48PM
chineze chicks aren't good looking.  that's why they can't get dates.

simple, really.

Feb 13, 2013 8:36PM
It make sense because there aren't so many "good husband" for leftover women,If you are a rich and single unmarried  man, you will choose a younger girls, not a leftover woman, that's chinese logic.
Feb 13, 2013 8:33PM
Well sounds like rent a boyfriend is popular over there. Then why does that not mean a thing in the USA?We have had rent a Woman or other for years. It's called Prostitution! So why does this surprise  anybody in America? What do we care what China does until they own this country? Personally I think it is worthless news. Just my opinion
Feb 13, 2013 8:23PM
There you go illegals and welfare bums. Get a ticket to china and get a job
Feb 13, 2013 8:21PM
Did china town in vegas this weekend. Had my fill of chinese food too bad so sad.
Feb 13, 2013 8:16PM
Feb 13, 2013 8:03PM
Im young, good looking and well dressed. I got back from China and Japan about twonths ago. Was there for about three weeks. Let me tell you...i was hooking up left and right. Like fishing with dynamite!!! It was a blast and it was never easier. I was alwasy approached and almost never said no!!! I have the life!!!
Feb 13, 2013 7:58PM
so now were paying to date? oh boy.......
Feb 13, 2013 7:42PM
Does he whisper "Me love you long time" in her ear? Brilliant
Feb 13, 2013 7:37PM

What do I have to do to become one of these man whores?

 leftovers???? i think chinese women are very pretty. they just aren't valued very much in china where many female fetuses are aborted because of their gender. send them over here and we'll trade you for 2 for 1 with our many not wanting to work males. since it's the year of the snake we can also send you a ton of our politicians!!!
Feb 13, 2013 7:17PM
I will take a date from any woman from any country if she is easy to talk to and get along with and has some cute looks! 
Feb 13, 2013 7:11PM

Devolving human species are abundant, just take a look at all the Republican, Libertarian and Teabagger imbeciles here in America.

Feb 13, 2013 6:44PM

Read an article about a woman who was for all intents and purposes, a multi billionaire.  She couldn't find an asian guy who didn't want to work long hours, talk business and get their hands on her and daddy's money.


The clincher: she was also pretty damn good looking too.


WTF is wrong with these asian characters?  Hot billionaire wants a boy toy to be her friend and go do fun stuff.  **RAISES HAND FRANTICALLY**  We don't have to talk business, EVER!  Let me show you how to drive that ferrari in your drive way.


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