Taobao graciously helped out China’s numerous “bare branches” on Singles’ Day by featuring a slightly unorthodox product: Vietnamese brides on sale for the low, low cost of 9,998 yuan ($1,500).
According to SCMP, the post on China’s leading online shopping site advertised 98 items available for the sweet deal of, “For only 9,998 yuan, bring a beautiful wife home.”
The seller was a entrepreneur named Wang Xiao Xi’s Gift Shop, which boasted more than 2,500 other items in the last 30 days. The seller’s top selling product was socks being sold at 1.6 yuan a piece.
The brides disappeared by 4:30 p.m. It’s not clear if the ad was taken down by Taobao or if they were simply sold out of women; however, don’t fret, buying yourself a Vietnamese wife in China is still very feasible.
Business Insider outlines a story of Chinese men in Henan who have been known to buy Vietnamese brides for about 20,000 yuan. The women sometimes seem quite satisfied with the relationship because of better economic prospects in China. However, others have been known to try to run away, infuriating Chinese husbands who sometimes spend 100,000 yuan on their brides, leading to lawsuits against matchmaking companies.
In the past, Chinese authorities have mostly turned a blind eye to the rising human trafficking of Vietnamese brides, but recently the crime has led to some arrests. In June of this year, police in Yunnan arrested 18 members of a gang who were smuggling Vietnamese women into China, and selling them for 10,000 to 40,000 yuan. In January, seven Vietnamese women were returned from China after being abducted.
From 2009 to 2012, Chinese police returned more than 1,800 women who had been brought to China illegally, according to the Chinese Ministry of Public Security.
Another report from 2011 found that 60 percent of women who were brought to China by traffickers from 2005 to 2009 escaped. Around 25 percent were rescued by Chinese police and the rest were released after their families paid the traffickers.
Thanks to the recently abolished one child policy and a traditional preference for boys, there is an estimated 33 million Chinese men who won’t be able to find a wife. Apart from promoting polyandry and homosexuality, another suggested solution to the crisis is to import brides from abroad.
Of course, China isn’t the only the nation involved in the bride business. Rose Brides is an online service that boasts a whole selection of Vietnamese women, along with Russian, Ukrainian, Belarusian, Asian, Latin, and Other. Here’s the pitch for why you should choose a Vietnamese lady:
Vietnamese single ladies are not only pretty and nicely slim, but their faithfulness to their husbands makes them even more attractive. Femininity in this culture is often defined in terms of self-sacrifice, respect, keeping one’s self alluring, and a strong work ethic. She will always be committed to pleasing her husband and will always be in support of family.
I guess this brings a whole new meaning to the term “selling yourself for money.” Lesson learned: keep your eyes peeled on the internet, literally everything is offered at the right price.
By Emily Lam