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English>>China Society

Outsourcing from cradle to grave


16:23, October 29, 2012

A doctor specializing in obstetrics and gynaecology gives a lecture to domestic helpers on how to take care of newborn babies in Chaohu, a city in Anhui province. [Provided to China Daily]

In modern China, you can find any service as long as you are willing to pay for it.

Tasks and chores once endured by all from the cradle to the grave can now be outsourced in a flash to a growing list of services.

From baby-sitting to baby naming, parties, wedding ceremonies, caring for the elderly and then preparing their departure.

Liu Kaiwen, came to Beijing four years ago, a single man working in the advertising industry. He employs a maid, or Ayi, Xiao Juan to do housework so as that he can focus on his work.

The first time he saw Xiao four years ago, he was surprised by her age - just around 20.

Three times a week, Xiao cleans, irons clothes and feeds the dog for 900 yuan($144) a month.

"I'm not at home in day so my dog will be very lonely. The Ayi looks after it and decides what to feed it, how and when," said Liu.

Liu is not alone in his quest to ease the burden of a busy work life.

When a professor at the Central Academy of Drama in Beijing, who was also in charge of two TV programs in Beijing Television, had a second baby in 2010, she was so busy she decided to employ a nanny to help.

The nanny, from Shanxi province who has never been to Beijing, is paid 3,000 yuan a month and lives in her employer's home.

Aged over 50, she is mainly in charge of taking care of the baby. She sleeps with the baby and often feeds the boy milk in the early hours. She gets up at 4 am, when she starts her day's work.

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