Guangdong mall offers ‘shareable girlfriends’ to lonely shoppers
1 yuan for 20 minutes of companionship. What a bargain!
The latest innovation in China’s sharing economy went on display recently at a Guangdong shopping mall — “shareable girlfriends.”
In a 10-second-long video clip, one shopper surveys a row of young women standing on yellow showcase pedestals. Behind each of them there is a QR code which shoppers can scan to “rent” the girlfriend of their choice.
Reportedly, it costs just 1 yuan for 20 minutes of companionship.
This marketing ploy mirrors one tried during Christmastime last year by a shopping mall in Hainan, which offered “shareable boyfriends” for lonely shoppers. Customers had to pay only 1 yuan for 1 hour of shopping bliss with the ideal boyfriend — one who would help you shop, carry around your bags, and even pretend not to be bored out of his mind.
However, once outside their box, no touching was allowed.
While that scheme seemed to prove quite successful, it appears that “shareable girlfriends” are less of a hit. Of the 15 young woman on offer at the mall in Heyuan city, more than half of them are shown in the clip standing and checking their phones, with no willing suitors stepping forward.
Chinese netizens have speculated that men may feel too awkward to “rent a girlfriend” in public, and aren’t likely to go shopping on their own anyway.
Along with shareable girlfriends and boyfriends, China’s sharing economy has recently seen the rise of a vast number of startups, including those offering shareable bicycles, umbrellas, napping capsules, workout pods, luxury cars, stools, basketball courts, and wheelchairs.
Most infamously, last September, one app tried to a launch a shareable sex doll service, which was shut down by Beijing authorities just four days after its official launch.