The ever-opportunistic vendors of Taobao, China’s leading e-commerce website, have discovered yet another way to exploit peoples’ loneliness by offering virtual relationship services to buyers via mobile phone.
The service, costing 20 to 30 yuan per day, involves hired employees who send messages and call customers to wake them up in the morning, listen to their complaints, say good night to them, and generally make them feel like they’re not the most miserable and alone human being in existence.
The virtual girlfriends come in a variety of personalities ranging from “doll-like girls” to “mature women”. Single ladies can also seek out virtual boyfriends who suit their specific desires, including “men in uniform,” “CEOs,” and “comforting men”.
Vendors who offer the service say that it’s an extremely effective way to boost sales, according to Want China Times, citing Guangzhou-based news site Dayoo. One such vendor cited in the report said that her store transactions climbed from seven or eight per day to over 500 per day since she began offering the service. The woman, identified as Xiaomi, now manages seven part-time workers who act as mobile girlfriends to buyers.
Customers so far have been young men who buy the service for just one day as a thrill, presumably.
A mental health expert cited in the report said that customers buying mobile girlfriends are likely lacking social skills.
[Image Credit: DCMaster]