Blogger highlights generational tensions over marriage in China

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China's girlfriends for hire
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China's girlfriends for hire
Zhao Yuqing and Wang Quanming (R) play with a dog at the apartment where Zhao stayed for a night in the city of Quanzhou Fujian province, China, January 26, 2017. They drove to Quanming's hometown the next morning. REUTERS/Muyi Xiao 
Zhao Yuqing reacts as she leaves her dogs at a pet care centre before leaving for Wang Quanming's hometown, in Beijing, China, January 26, 2017. REUTERS/Muyi Xiao 
A red blanket sits in a closet in Wang Quanming's family home in Anxi, Fujian province, China, January 29, 2017. Wang's mother had offered the blanket to her son in hopes that it would be used by the couple. The colour red symbolizes celebration and joy during the new year festive season. Wang and Zhao Yuqing did not use the blanket and stayed in separate beds during the visit. REUTERS/Muyi Xiao
Wang Quanming poses for a photograph near the family home where he lived until he was 15 years old, in Anxi county, Fujian province, China, January 30, 2017. REUTERS/Muyi Xiao 
Zhao Yuqing takes pictures of fireworks on the eve of Spring Festival at Wang Quanming's hometown in Anxi, Fujian province, China, January 27, 2017. REUTERS/Muyi Xiao
Wang Quanming's mother (R) gives a pack of tea leaves to Zhao Yuqing as a gift before Zhao leaves Wang's hometown, in Anxi, Fujian province, China, January 29, 2017. Anxi is located in a famous Chinese tea producing area. REUTERS/Muyi Xiao 
Zhao Yuqing, Wang Quanming (C) and Wang's brother ride in a car after leaving Wang's family home in Anxi, Fujian province, China, January 30, 2017. Zhao spent three days with Wang's family during the Spring Festival. REUTERS/Muyi Xiao 
Zhao Yuqing (C) checks her mobile phone during a meal with Wang Quanming's family in Anxi, Fujian province, China, January 27, 2017. REUTERS/Muyi Xiao 
Zhao Yuqing hugs her dogs on the night before she leaves for Wang Quanming's hometown, in Beijing, China, January 25, 2017. Zhao said she was nervous about her meeting with Wang. REUTERS/Muyi Xiao 
Zhao Yuqing picks bean pods with Wang Quanming in Anxi, Fujian province, January 27, 2017. Zhao said she had never been to a rural area and that was one of the reasons why she chose Wang over other applicants. REUTERS/Muyi Xiao
Zhao Yuqing and Wang Quanming drink tea as Wang's family play cards, in Anxi, Fujian province, China, January 27, 2017. REUTERS/Muyi Xiao 
Wang Quanming's aunt watches Wang and Zhao Yuqing as they talk before joining a family Spring Festival ritual, in Anxi, Fujian province, January 28, 2017. REUTERS/Muyi Xiao 
Zhao Yuqing takes a selfie with her dogs before sending them to a pet care center and leaving for Wang Quanming's hometown, in Beijing, China, January 26, 2017. REUTERS/Muyi Xiao 
Wang Quanming's parents pose for a photo in front of their house in Anxi, Fujian province, China, January 29, 2017. REUTERS/Muyi Xiao 
Wang Quanming (not pictured) takes a photograph of Zhao Yuqing at the table where she would have her first meal in Wang's family home, in Anxi, Fujian province, China, January 27, 2017. REUTERS/Muyi Xiao 
Zhao Yuqing talks to Wang Quanming on her phone after her plane lands in the city of Quanzhou, in Fujian province, China, January 26, 2017. The two will drive to Wang's hometown of Anxi the next day. REUTERS/Muyi Xiao 
The word "love" is carved into the headboard of Wang Quanming's bed in his family home in Anxi, Fujian province, China, January 30, 2017. Wang and Zhao Yuqing stayed in separate beds during the visit. REUTERS/Muyi Xiao 
Zhao Yuqing points to a pig during a visit to a farm in Wang Quanming's hometown, in Anxi, Fujian province, China, January 27, 2017. REUTERS/Muyi Xiao 
Wang Quanming's mother Nong Xiurong greets Zhao Yuqing when she arrived in Wang's hometown, in Anxi, Fujian province, China, January 27, 2017. REUTERS/Muyi Xiao 
Zhao Yuqing takes a nap at Beijing airport as she waits for her flight to Quanzhou to meet Wang Quanming, in Beijing, China, January 26, 2017. The purple bag contains a Peking duck and snacks Zhao bought as gifts for Wang's mother. REUTERS/Muyi Xiao 
Zhao Yuqing rides in a car on her way to Beijing airport for a flight to Wang Quanming's hometown, in Beijing, China, January 26, 2017. REUTERS/Muyi Xiao 
Zhao Yuqing uses her mobile phone at her apartment before leaving for Wang Quanming's hometown, in Beijing, China, January 25, 2017. REUTERS/Muyi Xiao 
Wang Quanming takes pictures as Zhao Yuqing plays with fireworks on the eve of the Spring Festival in Anxi, Fujian province, China, January 27, 2017. REUTERS/Muyi Xiao
Zhao Yuqing feeds her dogs before she leaves for Wang Quanming's hometown, in Beijing, China, January 25, 2017. Zhao adopted two street dogs and they recently gave birth to two puppies. REUTERS/Muyi Xiao 
Before driving to Wang Quanming's hometown, Zhao Yuqing writes down her conditions for posing as Wang Quanming's girlfriend during their three-day visit with Wang's family, in Quanzhou, Fujian province, January 26, 2017. REUTERS/Muyi Xiao 
Zhao Yuqing looks at her phone as she dries her hair after taking a shower at Wang Quanming's home in Anxi, Fujian province, China, January 28, 2017. REUTERS/Muyi Xiao 
Wang Quanming and Zhao Yuqing go for a walk on the day of the Spring Festival, in Anxi, Fujian province, China, January 28, 2017. REUTERS/Muyi Xiao 
Zhao Yuqing looks at a Chinese character "Fu", which means good fortune, on a poster in the elevator of her apartment, in Beijing, China, January 25, 2017. Zhao left for Wang's hometown two days before Chinese New Year. REUTERS/Muyi Xiao 
Vegetables lie on the floor of a storage room in Wang Quanming's family home in Anxi, Fujian province, China, January 28, 2017. Wang's parents cleaned the entire house before Zhao arrived. REUTERS/Muyi Xiao 
Zhao Yuqing waits for a Spring Festival ritual hosted by Wang Quanming's family to begin in the early morning, in Anxi, Fujian province, China, January 28, 2017. REUTERS/Muyi Xiao 
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BEIJING, July 19 (Reuters) - A Chinese female blogger who posed as a man's Lunar New Year girlfriend says her experience illustrates the generational tensions over finding a marriage partner in China.

Zhao Yuqing, a recent law graduate, said she was intrigued by the websites and mobile apps aimed at single people looking to hire an instant partner whom they can present to relatives during the new year holidays.

During the holidays, single men and women are often subjected to lectures from family members keen on reinforcing the importance of marriage and securing the family bloodline.

Some singles resort to hiring fake girlfriends and boyfriends through date-for-hire apps and websites.

Educated and attractive twenty-somethings can command fees of 3,000 yuan to 10,000 yuan ($436 to $1,453) a day over the busy festive period, according to mobile apps and websites seen by Reuters.

NO KISSING

Yuqing said in her online advertisement that she wanted the experience of being a holiday companion and would only charge for the transport to the person's home town.

Out of a pool of 700 respondents, Yuqing chose Wang Quanming, a website operator in his early thirties from the rural south.

"He is being pressured to find a wife and his need to rent a girlfriend is real," Yuqing told a photojournalist who approached her and Wang Quanming after seeing the online ad and learning about their agreement.

The photojournalist accompanied the couple for the duration of the trip.

Before setting off last January for Wang's family home in the hills of Fujian, they hammered out details of the false long-distance relationship to tell his parents, and set ground rules for the home visit.

There was to be no kissing, sleeping together or drinking alcohol, but she was ready to help with household chores, Yuqing and Quanming agreed in a handwritten contract seen by Reuters.

When the couple arrived, Quanming's mother, Nong Xiurong, tried to make Yuqing feel at home and respected her son's request to leave the two alone and not ask questions about their relationship, according to Yuqing, Quanming and his mother.

After the visit, Yuqing returned to Beijing and wrote a blog post on the social media app WeChat, saying she had a "wonderful experience" at Quanming's home.

"I WASN'T ANGRY"

Quanming said he decided to end the deception because he feared it could make the situation worse with his mother. He sent Yuqing's blog to Xiurong.

In a telephone interview, Xiurong told Reuters she was not upset by what happened and said she was moved by Yuqing's blog.

"At the start, I didn't know they were cheating me," she said. "I'm over 50. I don't understand what these young people get up to, but I wasn't angry."

Nevertheless, Xiurong said she still worries about her son finding a partner.

"My mother's core demand for me to marry early still exists," Quanming added.

For Yuqing, the experience highlighted how hard it is to resolve the generational tensions over marriage in China, where traditional notions remain strong in rural areas.

"The special situation in the village magnifies everything," Yuqing told Reuters. "They face a greater urgency to marry, so that makes it much harder to find a truly suitable other half."

Click http://reut.rs/2uEvt2L for a photo essay on Yuqing's journey as a fake girlfriend.

(Editing by Clarence Fernandez and Darren Schuettler)

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