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The Wider Image: Hopes and expectations - the journey of a fake girlfriend

Wednesday, July 19, 2017 - 05:09

In China men can hire fake girlfriends to reassure relatives that they have a partner. Reuters follows one young woman and her client on a journey to see his parents.

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A Chinese female blogger who posed as a man's Lunar New Year girlfriend says her experience illustrates the generational tensions over finding a marriage partner in China. Zhao Yuqing, a recent law graduate, said she was intrigued by the websites and mobile apps aimed at single people looking to hire an instant partner whom they can present to relatives during the new year holidays. During the holidays, single men and women are often subjected to lectures from family members keen on reinforcing the importance of marriage and securing the family bloodline. Some singles resort to hiring fake girlfriends and boyfriends through date-for-hire apps and websites. Yuqing said in her online advertisement that she wanted the experience of being a holiday companion and would only charge for the transportation to the person's home town. From a pool of 700 responses, Yuqing chose Wang Quanming, a website operator in his early thirties from the rural south. "He is being pressured to find a wife and his need to rent a girlfriend is real," Yuqing told a photojournalist who approached her and Wang Quanming after seeing the online ad and learning about their agreement. The photojournalist accompanied the couple for the duration of the trip.

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The Wider Image: Hopes and expectations - the journey of a fake girlfriend

Wednesday, July 19, 2017 - 05:09