Chinese man attempts to 'rent' out his girlfriend to pay for an iPhone 6

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 18 September, 2014, 1:09pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 24 September, 2014, 10:57am

A Chinese man allegedly offered to share his girlfriend in exchange for cash in an attempt to raise enough money to buy Apple’s new iPhone 6.

Standing near campus at Shanghai’s Songjiang University Town bearing a placard reading “Girlfriend Sharing”, the unidentified man laid out some rules for prospective “customers”. The deal included “but is not limited to” eating together, studying together, playing games, or going on dates. However, the placard said there was to be no “funny business”.

Prices range from 10 yuan per hour to a 500 yuan per month bulk price.

According to posters on social media, where the photos were first shared, the man was happy to share details of his girlfriend’s vital statistics and send photos of her to interested parties. He added that his girlfriend was a willing participant in the scheme.

Local authorities later threw doubt on the man's story. According to a post on Weibo by the Songjiang University Town police department, the man was escorted off campus after it was discovered he was not a student and may have been faking his story to drum up attention for a smartphone app.

This would not be the first time a Chinese consumer has gone to desperate measures to buy the latest Apple device. In 2012, a Hunan teenager sold a kidney and used the funds to buy an iPhone and an iPad. Five men were later arrested in connection with the case.

In October, prosecutors in Shanghai charged a couple with human trafficking after they sold their baby online and used part of the proceeds to buy a new iPhone.

Chinese consumers were left disappointed this month by Apple’s apparent snub of China for the launch of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, which went on sale in Hong Kong on Saturday.

The delay may have cost Chinese carriers hundreds of millions of yuan in wasted advertising, with the main telecoms carriers all having prepared major campaigns on the assumption that the iPhone 6 would be released in China at the same time as other countries.

Scammers took advantage of the delay to tout a non-existent “special Macau edition” of the device on Chinese online marketplaces.

“We can’t buy the iPhone 6 on the mainland now … but I can buy one from this shop, and it’s pink! I just hope it’s not fake,” one potential customer wrote online.