Hot Seller During Singles Day In China: Fake Girlfriends And Boyfriends

Image courtesy of (Scott Lynch)

Yesterday, we told you about Singles Day, the day when uncoupled people turn to sweet, sweet material consumption to fill the voids in their souls. It’s the biggest shopping day in the world, but really only an excuse for retailers in China to put everything on deep discount. Yet one hot seller this year was appropriate: many Chinese singles took advantage of the holiday to hire a cut-rate fake significant other.

Singles Day has pre-emptively kicked Black Friday’s butt in sheer sales, with reports that online retailers in China did $9.3 billion in business. Alibaba is a huge e-commerce company in China, which you may have heard of recently when it had a record-breaking initial public offering on the New York Stock Exchange. (For legal reasons, the stock is actually in a Cayman Islands-based corporation where Alibaba sends its profits.) The site isn’t a huge commercial force in this country, but its sites Taobao and Tmall are sort of like Amazon and eBay combined in China. And for only fifty cents an hour, people could buy the attentions of a fake online significant other.

“Do you feel uncomfortable when seeing others showing off their sweet love messages on Weibo and WeChat while you only receive messages from [China Mobile customer service]?” says one ad that Financial Times checked out. Sounds like your friends are a bunch of show-offs.

Singles’ Day frenzy of love and dollars [Financial Times]

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