I am not for rent, says guy behind viral posting

  • Nation
  • Friday, 27 Jan 2017

PETALING JAYA: The boyfriend is not for rent after all. Single women who had pinned their hopes on hiring a boyfriend for the Lunar New Year will have to just face down that curious auntie and answer questions on their marital status.

Zeann Jian (pic), the lad behind the Chinese New Year “rent a boyfriend” posting that went viral on social media, has declined all offers.

He said he did it as a joke.

“I never expected the post to go viral. It was actually a random post, a joke, but some people took it literally and started sharing.

“I received over 100 messages from all races, and not just from females – there were males, too – who contacted me about my post.

“I replied to all of them, declined their requests and explained that it was meant as a joke among my friends and they understood it.”

His post received 3,700 likes and was shared about 3,698 times on Facebook.

Zeann even “appointed” his good friend Ken Joe as his “manager” for the services.

The idea for the post, he said, came after he read an article “Young adults not looking forward to ‘when is your turn to marry?’ quiz” in The Star, which was published on Jan 18.

The 26-year-old who works in the advertising industry posted his biodata, pictures and rate card on Facebook.

The “Chinese New Year boyfriend rental” rate started at RM88 per day, RM188 for reunion dinner and RM888 for the whole Lunar New Year.

Although Zeann had declined to be a temporary heartthrob to single ladies, the former fitness trainer said there was a real demand for it in Malaysia.

“People do face a lot of pressure (to get married), so maybe my friends and I can brainstorm and come up with an idea in the future.

“If I ever do this for real, I need to make sure it is done the proper way without breaking any laws or hurting anyone in the process.

“But for the time being, I am definitely not going to be a rental boyfriend for anyone,” he said.

In China, the phenomenon of renting girlfriends or boyfriends during the Lunar New Year holiday had become a lucrative business.

Young men and women who faced pressure to get married, sought this temporary and sometimes pricey solution to appease their parents and other relatives.

It was reported that the cost of renting a boyfriend or girlfriend ranges from 500 yuan (RM322) to 2,000 yuan (RM1,288) a night.

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