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China Rent a Boyfriend Service Huge Hit for Chinese New Year 2013, Helping Unmarried Women Avoid Family Backlash

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A new China rent-a-boyfriend service for the New Year is becoming a bit hit, helping many unmarried older women feel better about not having a husband to take home.

According to The Telegraph, over 300 boyfriend-rental services are currently listed on the Chinese shopping site Taobao.

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One ad reads, "Not getting any younger and still dreading facing the nagging parents? Need a boyfriend to face the family?" If the answer is "yes" then a girl can pick from a wide range of boys who charge a flat rate plus commission on a whole host of thrilling activities. 

One example is: "Boyfriend for rent, 300 yuan a day [$48], holding hands and hugs free, appropriate kisses 50 yuan, talking to old people 30 yuan an hour, others we'll talk about it when we meet ... Accommodation and transport costs paid by the woman."

The Telegraph U.K. reported that "it can be a particularly miserable experience for girls who don't bring home a boyfriend, leading to endless questions about why they're not dating and where their life's going." Women over 27 who aren't married yet are labled "leftover women," the report continued.

These women shopping for a temporary boyfriend can show how society views them, at least around the Chinese New Year. The fairly new service in China offers "single working women the ability to return home for the holidays without having to deal with nagging family members and humiliating personal questions."

According to ABC News, online searches for the term "rental boyfriend" have soared by 884 percent over the same period last year.

"There are many reasons why women pay for this service," an entrepreneur named Mr. Gao said. He created one of the new rental services last fall. "Some are trying to make their boyfriends jealous. Some want to bring a boyfriend to attend their company's annual dinner party to show their bosses that they are settled and stable. The women who rent a boyfriend to bring home for the Lunar New Year are wealthy women around the age of 25. Their parents fear losing face and worry that no one wants to marry their old single daughters."

Agricultural products salesman Li Le from Tianjin said that as a rental boyfriend, it's a chance to "meet new people" and "if all goes well, Li might even find something real," according to iScienceTimes.

"It's an exciting thing to do," he told BBC. "I might find someone who shares my interests and it would make both of us happy."

BBC reported that 30 women have contacted Li so far, but he said "it is tough to find someone who trusts him enough to invite him home for Chinese New Year."

What do you think of this China rent-a-boyfriend service? Sound off below!

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Reporter's Photo Feb 08, 2013 02:15 PM EST

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