The front page of the Chinese Melbourne Daily (with a circulation of 18,000 copies) had a full-page advertisement. With the following text:
I’ve called you many times but you don’t pick up, maybe you will see this. Dad and mom won’t ever force you to get married anymore, come home for Chinese New Year! From your mom who loves you.
A Guangzhou-based mother was attempting to reach out to her young son who works and lives in Melbourne.
Every year around this time, many Chinese prepare to head home for China’s most important festival: the Chinese New Year, which will be celebrated on 1st February this year. But many of the younger generation dread facing family confrontations about their love life.
Parental pressure to marry and start a family is nothing new in China, but rising house prices, difficulties in getting a job and the mounting cost of living mean many of the younger generation in the country are putting off settling down until they feel they can afford to do so.
Funnily (I find it funny!), in response to this phenomenon, there has been a significant uptake in the number of boyfriends/girlfriends available for rent via China’s online shopping giant, Taobao.com
Yes, you heard it right! Boyfriends and Girlfriends on rent! (And you thought your family was pushing too hard;) Rental counterfeit boyfriends and girlfriends even come with services such as meeting the parents, shopping and watching movies.