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China girlfriend rental app popularity increases as people look to avoid pressure from family during New Year

(Mail Online)    12:05, January 27, 2017

As millions of people in China are preparing to head home for Chinese New Year, many young men are turning to apps to hire a girlfriend to take home with them.

During the Lunar New Year period, single people are often subjected to pressure from relatives who are keen to secure the family blood line.

Apps have now been invented that mean that men can hire girlfriends and give themselves some respite from family questioning over the festive period.

A relationship without the fuss: Apps such as Hire Me Plz allow users to find girlfriends for hire

Thanks to an increase in people using their smartphones, an app named Hire Me Plz has been created to help men look for fake girlfriends.

Single men are able to hire girlfriends for as little as 1 yuan (12p) to 1,999 yuan (£230) an hour.

However during Chinese New Year prices can surge to up to 10,000 yuan (£1,154) a day.

24-year-old Luoluo is one of the women on the app to offer a fake girlfriend service. She says: 'I'm still seeking people to fill my time slots.'

She has just two-and-a-half days left to fill out of a week long slot.

Hire Me Plz has proved popular. Cao Tiantian, founder of the app said: "Over 1,000 users on our platform have signed up as dates for hire for the New Year break.'

Hire Me Plz has a user base of 700,000 and 1.7 million followers on social media

Since its launch in 2015, Hire Me Plz has a user base of 700,000 and 1.7 million followers on China's biggest mobile social media network Wechat.

Cao says: 'Our business model is still new, though an increasing number of young people have accepted the idea of selling their time as commodity.'

Cao says the initial aim of the app is to help overcome lonliness experienced by people who live and work alone in big cities.

She says: 'I was seeking a more effective way to ask someone out. Who wants to chat for months via social networks and end up with nothing?'

The mobile apps are more secure for users as they ask for identity authentication in comparison to other classified sites which don't.

Apps for women hiring boyfriends are also available.

The price for a pretend boyfriend can run up to £180 per day and services on offer range from meeting parents to staying the night.

Earlier this month it was reported that 'Rent a boyfriend' was a trending keyword on most Chinese search engines, as well as online shopping site Taobao. 

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Zhang Tianrui, Bianji)

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