Tag Archives: dating in china

As the snakey New Year approaches – China’s rent-boy-friends come out to play

22 Jan

snakeSince China’s gradual opening up to the world post-Mao, a whole generation of youngsters have grown up free from the life or death choices that faced their forebears. These Little Emperors – the result of China’s controversial one-child policy – have had it pretty bloody good when you consider their parents’ and grandparents’ generations faced the horrors of the Great Famine, the Cultural Revolution and flared trousers. They may be blinged up with iPhones, Gucci handbags and Burberry scarves but one thing the girls at least still can’t get their hands on these days is a fella.

Now, it’s not quite clear why this might be, given that the one-child policy and a cultural predilection for a son and heir has led to a gender imbalance in China which could mean 40 million more men than women by 2020. Maybe the women need to try a bit harder, put some make-up on from time to time, stop playing so hard to get and just put the chopsticks down once in a while. Either way, the problem has reached crisis proportions in China, where familial pressure for girls to settle down and marry before they’ve even hit 30 is huge.

With the impending New Year’s holiday break upcoming, that generation of late 20-something girls we’ve just been talking about are starting to get nervous – pretty soon they’ll have to travel back home to their folks and explain why they’ve still not managed to bag an eligible batchelor.

Well, in 21st century China, that’s not a problem. E-commerce site Taobao – a kind of eBay-like platform for small merchants – has recently been flooded with hundreds of enterprising young gents keen to make a quick buck out of the misfortune of others. These rental boyfriends apparently charge around 20 yuan (£2) an hour and will even travel home to meet their clients’ parents.

Afters are extra.

Even in modern, international city-state Hong Kong where parents often have the luxury of more than one child, the cut off for girls is around 26. The only winners in all this, apart from a few entrepreneurial rent-boy-friends, are the online dating firms. Charging as much as HK$3,000 a month, these companies feast on human loneliness and parental expectations like a bunch of bastard mosquitos. Some even offer date nights with foreigners. Can you imagine?

The government has clearly let down these poor girls. I suggest mandatory marriage for all who reach 30 without getting hitched.