Single people in China have come up with an innovative way of pleasing their pushy parents during the annual Lunar New Year holiday -- they are renting fake dates.
Advertisements posted by people seeking to pay young men or women to come home with them for Spring Festival -- China's most important family holiday that kicks off this weekend -- are scattered all over popular web portals.
"500 yuan (73 dollars) 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," one man said Wednesday on baidu.com, under the heading "Looking to rent a girlfriend".
A lot of 20-something Chinese have no siblings due to the nation's one-child policy, and many come under heavy pressure to marry once they hit their late 20s.
"I haven't yet found a suitable girlfriend and my parents are pushing too hard," said another posting on Chinaren.com under the title "desperately looking for a girlfriend to go home with me for Chinese New Year".
"I'm searching for a girl around 23 years old (and not more than two years below or above that), 160 to 175 centimetres high, average looking is OK," it added.
Other people have posted advertisements offering their services to accompany desperate singletons home.
According to the state-run Global Times, a female student at the prestigious Peking University placed an ad offering 10,000 yuan a day to a man willing to go home with her for Spring Festival.
She said in the posting that her parents had told her to bring a man home or "you can forget about coming home for the holiday", the report said.
One organisation, called the Xiao Bai Alliance, is helping bring "special friends" together for the holiday to please anxious parents, the report said.