On Taobao, hire someone to visit your parents for you
"One hour costs 150 yuan [HK$190], one day costs 300 yuan," said Jiang, who gave only his surname and was offering the service on Taobao, China's largest e-commerce platform.
For that price, Jiang and his wife would visit any customer's elderly parents anywhere in Beijing. The central district of Chaoyang would be cheaper, he said.
So far, 10 Taobao sellers offer to accompany elderly parents for a fee. The services are so far offered in Beijing, Shenzhen, Hangzhou and three other cities.
Some are less expensive. "Ten minutes for 8 yuan, one hour for 20 yuan," posted one person surnamed Li, from Xian, in Shaanxi province.
The most expensive offer on Taobao is two days of company for 3,000 yuan in Jiangxi province, roughly three months' income of a local farmer, according to government figures.
Such visiting services have cropped up as a way for some adults "to avoid violating morals, social customs and the law", according to another provider in Shenzhen.
"Paying for surrogate visits is a natural development, this only reflects the fact that there is a demand."