Lonely Female Shoppers in China Can Now Rent ‘Shopping Boyfriends’ by the Hour

Shopping malls in China have come up with an ingenious strategy to attract female shoppers. Many of them now offer attractive ‘shopping’ boyfriends that can be rented by the hour at really affordable rates.

What started as a clever promotion for March 8th, International Women’s Day, has apparently become a year-long strategy to attract female shoppers. Walking through mall galleries in Chinese cities like Hebei or Foshan, you’re likely to spot young, dapper men displayed in giant, doll box-like frames decorated with hearts. They are called ‘shopping boyfriends’ and they can be rented by the hour by lonely female shoppers looking for company. Rates start as low as 1 yuan ($0.15) per hour, up to 2 yuan ($0.30) in some shopping malls.

Shopping boyfriends not only accompany the women who rent them on their shopping sprees, but can also provide advice, carry bags, chat, have their picture taken with the client, and even join them for a drink or a bite to eat in the malls’s food court. However, their contracts specifically forbid physical contact, so anyone hoping for more than what is on offer will be disappointed.

Most of the shared boyfriends on display in Chinese shopping malls are university students working as part-time models in order to supplement their income, and judging by the photos I’ve seen online, some of them enjoy this job more than others.


Putting attractive men on display and making them availlable for rental at extremely affordable prices has apparently been generating a lot of interest among female shoppers, many of whom gather around the display to at  least snap some photos. But while some appreciate the company, others declared themselves disappointed by the experience, saying that shopping with a girlfriend is much more experience, than doing it with a stranger, even a handsome one.


In a country where sharing services, from bicycles to umbrellas are insanely popular, human sharing was bound to become a thing at one point, I guess.