It’s hire-a-girlfriend time for Lunar New Year reunion
AS MILLIONS in China head home to celebrate the Lunar New Year holiday with their families, 24-year-old Luoluo is busy answering messages on a mobile app from desperate men looking to hire an instant girlfriend who they can present to mom and dad.
On visits home during the holiday, which begins today, single people are often subjected to tough lectures from relatives keen on reinforcing the importance of marriage and securing the family bloodline.
Some singles resort to hiring fake girlfriends and boyfriends to appease their parents. But an explosion in smartphone use in recent years means one can now pay for such a date through a handful of mobile apps, with just a few clicks.
“More than 1 000 users on our platform have signed up as dates for hire for the New Year break,” Cao Tiantian, founder of date-forhire app Hire Me Plz, said.
Subscribers to the app pay from as little as 1 yuan (R1.94) to 1 999 yuan an hour for a dinner date, a chat, a game of mah-jong or even a foot massage.
Prices surge around the time of Lunar New Year, with thousands of attractive twenty-somethings like Luoluo commanding fees of 3 000 yuan to 10 000 yuan a day.
“I’m still seeking people to fill my time slots,” she said. – Reuters