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Is this Chinese start-up disrupting the world's oldest profession?

By NexChange
Venture Capital

A Beijing-based start-up called Zubowa - meaning "rent me" -  has raised a $1.5 million angel round for a platform that allows users to sell themselves for a day... or a night.

Of course, many uses for this service are purely innocent: perhaps you need someone to teach you piano, another player on your soccer team, or just someone to play bridge with your grandma. But there are other - potentially murkier - services also being offered: dating.

According to Tech in Asia, the app is not shy about it either. The description attached to the app even boasts: "there are a ton  of beautiful girls and handsome guys waiting for you."

It doesn't take a massive leap of the imagination to see how a platform such as this opens itself for exploitation. It will also be interesting to see how this startup navigates clear regulatory and cultural pitfalls.

In any case, online-to-offline services is a fast-growing sector in China right now. Given that China's unemployment rate is the rise - the National Bureau of Economic Research recently put it at 10.9% -  a platform like this could still gain traction.

 

 

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