With the buzzword “Sharing Economy” spreading like wildfire recently, some folks online started joking about having sharable girlfriends next. Taqu (Touch), a popular Chinese adult product m-commerce and socializing app that just went listed on NEEQ (National Equities Exchange and Quotations), recently launched a service for delivering “shared girlfriends”. However, the service isn’t delivering actual humans (of course), but blow-up dolls instead. According to the product details, the dolls currently come in five different styles, namely Hong Kong, Russian, Greek, Korean and Paradise Island. Furthermore, customers can purchase additional costumes and tools and customize the hair style, eye color, skin color and even smart hardware add-ons such as voice production and internal heating for their dolls.
“Shared Girlfriends” aren’t real people, but shared blow-up dolls.
After placing an order, customers need to pay a deposit of 8000 yuan first before proceeding. It costs about 298 yuan to rent one for a day; 698 yuan for three days; and 1298 yuan for a week. After completing the payment, Taqu will deliver the product and provide user instructions. After finishing with the product, employees will collect the products in person free of charge and then return the deposit and deduct the usage fees.
Compared to regular blow-up dolls, these are quite different in the sense that they are made with silica gel and are equal in weight and height with an actual person. The current MSRP for these dolls are over at least 10,000 yuan.
Related Taqu personnel have expressed that the already existing ratio imbalance of men to women in China, caused by the traditional value of “Favoring men over women”, will be exacerbated in the future, creating an excess of 5 billion “single” men. Aside from physical needs, they would also require mental company. The target population for these blow-up dolls are white-collar workers between the ages of 20 to 35, not including 2D-world fanatics, or otherwise known as otaku (a Japanese term for people with obsessive interests, commonly the anime and manga fandom). Furthermore, the target population also includes married couples not living together.
Taqu says that the company respects personal privacy and guarantees the safety of such information.
On the topic of personal privacy information security, the company will keep the information private when orders are placed and delivered. And on the front of hygiene and safety, the company expressed that key body parts will be replaced after each customer use. Next, after the dolls are have been returned, they’ll be run through a five-round professional cleaning and disinfecting procedure.
According to research, Taqu was founded in 2012. The company finished its Series A financing in 2014 at 50 million yuan; Series B in 2015 at 85 million yuan; and it was listed in May 2016.
In August this year, Taqu released its 2017 financial report during the first two quarters. The company completed an operating revenue of 69.09 million yuan and grew by 78.28% compared to the same period last year. And in comparison with the net profit of 4.05 million yuan the NEEQ company shareholders hold, it’s an unfortunate loss for Taqu.
This article originally appeared in Sina Technology and was translated by Pandaily.
Click here to read the original Chinese article.