‘He is being pressured to find a wife and his need to rent a girlfriend is real’

The pressure in China to find a mate and settle down can be immense. That pressure has given rise to the phenomenon of hiring fake girlfriends and boyfriends to take home to meet the family. Men and women offer their services as fake paramours through, you guessed it, the Internet. Looking for a fake girlfriend or boyfriend to take home and meet the family? You can find them on date-for-hire apps as well as websites.

Intrigued by this phenomenon, a Chinese blogger named Zhao Yuqing decided to find out what this is like by offering her services. According to Reuters, Yuqing posted an online advertisement saying that “she wanted the experience of being a holiday companion and would only charge for the transportation to the person’s home town.” She got 700 responses and ended up choosing a 30-something website operator named Wang Quanming. Yuqing told Reuters photographer Muyi Xiao, about Quanming, “He is being pressured to find a wife and his need to rent a girlfriend is real.”

When the whole trip ended and Yuqing was back in Beijing, she wrote a blog post about the whole thing. Not wanting to keep his mother in the dark about the whole experience, Quanming then sent his mother the blog post. According to Reuters, his mother was not upset, saying, “At the start, I didn’t know they were cheating me,” she said. “I’m over 50. I don’t understand what these young people get up to, but I wasn’t angry.” In fact, she said that the blog post moved her. However, she is still worried about her son finding a mate.

Xiao accompanied the couple on a holiday trip to the man’s home town. Here’s what she saw:

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