By Jiawei Lu
How can young and middle-aged women in China who want to focus on their career live freely without being hounded by their parents to marry? Perhaps by renting a boyfriend.
A lot of women are sick of being pestered by their parents about marriage and kids. Renting boyfriends may help shut them up.
Wang Zhuo, who works as a boyfriend for hire, has had over 100 “girlfriends” in the past two years.
Wang spoke to Japan’s Nihon Kezai Shimbun (Translation via Rocket News 24):
Early on in his exploits as a rental boyfriend, Wang remembers being contacted by a particular hard-working career woman (let’s call her Ning), with power over nearly 1,000 subordinates at her place of work in Beijing’s private banking industry. She was actually 10 years Wang’s senior in the same financial company where he worked! Just before the anniversary of China’s founding Wang received a short message from Ning that read, “I understand that you act as a rental boyfriend? I was wondering if we could meet.”
“I’m not interested in getting married or in getting a boyfriend,” Ning explained at their meeting. She had graduated from one of Beijing’s top universities and then entered into the workforce, where she drove herself to become one of the 30 most important people in a company with approximately 20,000 employees.
Ning brought Wang with her to her parents’ home in the Beijing suburbs for National Foundation Day, in hopes of easing her family’s worries. In order to hide the staggering age difference between the two, Wang, “the boyfriend,” dressed formally and introduced himself as being 30, adding five years to his actual age. He watched as utter relief grew on the face of Ning’s grandmother, utterly convinced by their lovers’ act.
Though Rocket News implies in its headline that Wang’s services are for women trying to convince their parents they’re not gay, the stigma of becoming a “leftover woman” is likely much stronger. That being said, China allegedly has over 12 million sham ‘beard’ marriages where one partner in an opposite sex couple is gay.