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Alleged Swift, Hiddleston break-up puts strain on Taobao shops selling ‘break-up insurance’

By Jiang Jie (People's Daily Online)    11:40, September 09, 2016

("Breakup insurance” for the new relationship between Taylor Swift and actor Tom Hiddleston sells on Taobao.)

Amid widespread reports that Taylor Swift’s romance with Tom Hiddleston has come to an end after three months, fans and netizens around the world have offered innumberable theories about the demise of the relationship. A number of fans in China, however, have a more concrete concern: money.

So-called Taylor Swift "break-up insurance" began to surface on Chinese e-commerce giant Taobao in July, right after news of the relationship emerged. The insurance, generally selling for 1 yuan, promised to double customers’ money if the pair broke up within one year. Though the "policies" were later removed from Taobao, plenty of customers purchased the policies before they were taken down. Now, a number of Taobao shops are taking a hit as customers call to collect on their insurance.

In the wake of the Swift-Hiddleston split, some customers are complaining that shop owners - many of who earned a decent profit from the insurance sales - are now turning a deaf ear to demands for insurance payouts. Some argue that there has not yet been official confirmation of the breakup, while others simply are no longer responsive.

But there are some honest businesses, as snapshots posted on one shop owner’s WeChat Moments prove. The owner posted a sad face, saying that customers will receive their doubled money from the purchases made in July.

Executives of Taobao, an online retail platform of the Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba, have also weighed in, saying that they suspected problems would arise from the unofficial insurance, earlier media reports show. 

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Editor: Jiang Jie,Bianji)

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