(Reuters) — As millions in China head home to celebrate the Lunar New Year holiday with their families, 24-year-old Luoluo is busy answering messages on a mobile app from desperate men looking to hire an instant girlfriend whom they can present to mom and dad.
On visits home during the holiday, which kicks off on Friday, single people are often subjected to tough lectures from relatives keen on reinforcing the importance of marriage and securing the family blood line.
Some singles resort to hiring fake girlfriends and boyfriends to appease their parents. But an explosion in smartphone use in recent years means one can now pay for such a date through a handful of mobile apps, with just a few clicks.
“Over 1,000 users on our platform have signed up as dates for hire for the New Year break,” Cao Tiantian, founder of date-for-hire app Hire Me Plz, told Reuters.
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