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HolidayBuyer's Guide
Culture

Men paying $1,500 on rent-a-date apps for Chinese New Year

Commentary: You don't want your family to think you're alone, do you?

Technically Incorrect offers a slightly twisted take on the tech that's taken over our lives.


"Wait, did I hire you for 60 minutes or 90?"

LIU JIN/AFP/Getty Images

Love is a reflection of who you are.

If you're not in love with anyone and no one is in love with you, what are you? Not even a speck on society's pristine cheekbone.

And when important holidays come around, being alone really hurts your image.

That, at least, must be the conclusion from a Reuters report that girlfriend "rental" apps are enjoying a boost as Chinese New Year approaches this weekend.

In these times when Tinder is the night, it's not enough to swipe your way to a lover and hope that he or she likes you back. Instead, you go to apps such as the romantically dubbed Hire Me Plz and offer money.

We're not talking about a few bucks here. Prospective girlfriends (and boyfriends) for hire are charging up to 10,000 yuan a day. That's around $1,500. Just to save your face and maybe hold your hand.

Channel News Asia reports that there are at least five of these rent-a-date apps in China. You can pay anything from 1 yuan (15 cents) to 1,999 Yuan ($290) an hour. Of course, it's more expensive for the Chinese New Year.

Some will muse that this is all more along the lines of hiring an escort or prostitute. But how can one ever know?

"Our business model is still new, though an increasing number of young people have accepted the idea of selling their time as commodity," Cao TianTian, founder of Hire Me Plz, told Reuters.

Yes, young people, your time for loving is a commodity that can be sold to the highest bidder. This is certainly the road less traveled to lasting happiness.

Still, some young people see this as an earnest little earner. Who cannot adore these words from one rentable girlfriend in Sichuan province: "I'm still seeking people to fill my time slots."

She has two half-day windows still available. My, I hope she doesn't mix up her boyfriends' names.

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