Chinese Lunar New Year and Valentine’s Day are only days apart this year, giving a boost to a new and booming business in China — boyfriend rentals.
Taobao, China’s popular shopping website, says that online searches for the term “rental boyfriend” have soared by 884 percent over the same period last year. A search for the Chinese characters of “rent-a-boyfriend” on Taobao.com produces more than 2,000 results, at a range of prices.
Those prices depend on what the customer wants. For instance, just going to a movie can cost 50 RMB (about $8) an hour, but that price doubles if it’s a horror movie. Different rates apply for simple conversation, a dinner party, going out for drinks or meeting the parents.