Lifestyle & Belief

Chinese singles turn to rented girlfriends and boyfriends for the New Year


Chinese folk artists prepare to perform the dragon dance at a temple fair to celebrate the Lunar New Year of Dragon on Jan. 22, 2012 in Beijing, China. Falling on Jan. 23 this year, the Chinese Lunar New Year, also known as the Spring Festival, which is based on the Lunisolar Chinese calendar, is celebrated from the first day of the first month of the lunar year and ends with Lantern Festival on the Fifteenth day.


Feng Li

Chinese singles dreading those annoying questions from nagging parents over the Chinese New Year are increasingly turning to a website that allows them to rent a boyfriend or girlfriend for the occasion. 

Chinese website offers over 260 fake boyfriends to accompany women to family events, meals, and on shopping trips. They'll even kiss you, though that costs extra — 50 Yuan extra, according to The Star

Though the practice has sparked fierce debate, as China Daily reported, the rented-out significant others don't seem to mind.

"I don't have many opportunities to meet girls. The business is not for money. It's just bored people meeting each other," said 22-year-old Xue Shuai, who rents himself out as a boyfriend.

China is gearing up for the New Year celebrations, a 10-day affair starting on February 10 during which many Chinese return home to spend time with their families, the Australian reported

China's estimated 180 million singles — many of them women in their 30s — feel pressure from parents to couple up, according to the Australian. 

"My parents want me to get married by 30," one woman explained to the Guardian, which profiled the trend last year. "Bringing a 'boyfriend' back home simply means I get less hassle from relatives and my parents will stop worrying about my romantic life."

More from GlobalPost: China: Migrant workers travel home for Lunar New Year