In the face of parental pressure to find Mr Perfect, young Chinese women have come up with a rather novel solution: renting their boyfriend online.
In order to avoid the intense familial scrutiny that comes with returning home during traditional holidays without a companion, many are "buying" a boyfriend to accompany them.
Young women can log on to shopping sites, such as taobao.com, China's largest online retailer, to find postings by young men offering their services alongside the usual clothing, electronics and homeware.
The site reported that last year online searches for the term "rental boyfriend" soared by 884 percent between the Chinese Lunar New Year and Valentine's Day, illustrating the desire of young Chinese females to bring a respectable partner home.
The demand for a pseudo-companion has helped provide additional income for many young bachelors, such as 27-year-old Matthew Fang from Chongqing, who said, "This rental business isn't bad, especially during the Chinese Lunar New Year when there are family reunions."
Simulated sweethearts listed on the site do have to meet certain parameters, however. Jezebel.com reported earlier in the year that rent-a-boyfriends have to be "reasonably good-looking, at least 5-feet-6, well-behaved and willing to wear glasses, which some parents consider a sign of erudition. They had to have decent social skills and be able to get along with all sorts of could-be in-laws and relatives."
With prices ranging from R850 to 13 600 per day, young women are parting with significant sums in order to avoid hassle from their families and can expect a comprehensive service in return.
For the daily fee, their fake boyfriend will meet the family, chat with parents, go shopping and attend family gatherings. Also thrown in are hugs, holding hands, and a goodbye kiss on the forehead or cheek.
Boyfriends must be rented for a minimum of three days, and can also incur a number of additional charges, including R50 an hour for shopping and cinema excursions, although thrillers are double the cost. Residents of Hong Kong, Taiwan and Macau also pay top price compared to their mainland counterparts.
In order to maintain the rouse, would-be boyfriends meet the assigned woman before the family excursion to ascertain essential relationship information.
Typically, they will exchange photos, she will let him know about her family situation, while he will let her know his occupation, salary and family background. They also establish how to navigate that most important question; how they fell in love.
Despite the business-like efficiency associated with the service, some fake boyfriends do end up falling for their assigned girl, but that's not something that concerns fake boyfriend Xu Li, a 26-year-old from Yancheng City.
"It all depends on how you look at it," he said.
"If you look at it as a business, then it's much easier."