Chinese folk have come up with an innovative method to fend off marriage pressure from their overzealous parents. These twenty-somethings are spending a good deal of money, as much as $500 a day, on rent-a-partner schemes.

According to such agreements, the hired girl or guy would stay over and act the part of a loving partner. The overall aim is, of course, to please nagging parents.

Thus, one ad read as such: “500 yuan ($73 or R562) a day, you don’t have to sleep with me, I can sleep on the floor in the same room, but you have to be a good actress.”

This trend is especially prominent during the Lunar News Year celebrations, a time when the young ones are heading back to their parents’ home.

Liu Facai, a 31-year-old sales manager, is one such date-seeker.

In a desperate bid to get a pretend girlfriend for the holidays, he had to change his offer from 1,200 yuan ($170) a day to a hefty 3,600 yuan ($510) a day.

And of course, the higher the rate, the more agitated the singleton.

Thus, there was the case of a Peking University student promising a daily rate of 10 000 yuan for any willing candidates to be her fake boyfriend.

Her parents had provided an ultimatum regarding her single status where they refused to allow her back home for the holidays if she couldn’t find a partner.

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Shinigami (A. K. Goemans) is a Netherlands-based writer who is into horror movies, computer games and manga. She lived in different parts of Asia and Africa before settling down in the Netherlands.