The high rate of infidelity among married couple has given rise to a new type of business which aims to track down mistresses and save couples on the verge of getting a divorce.
Due to the growing propensity for married men to stray away from their home, despondent wives in China has reportedly contracted the ‘mistress hunters’ – the Chinese company is called, to put an end their husbands’ extramarital affairs.
The business is said to be lucrative in the China as more people become open minded about sexual relationships in recent decades. Some of the company’s methodologies include sending a trained undercover female professional to contrive a situation in which she accidentally meets the cheating husband’s mistress.
The undercover agent is to gain the mistress’s trust and eventually try to persuade her to put an end to the affair. According to Business Insider, one of such company to provide the mistress hunt services, as well as marriage counsel, is Shanghai Weiqing Network Technology – a firm that claimed to save thousands of marriages every year.
Their main clients consist of heartbroken wives who can afford the service charge of 50,000 yuan (N2.3 million) yielding the company a healthy profits of about 17 million yuan (N77.4 million) annually. According to a company filing to National Equities Exchange and Quotations, NEEQ, the company is said to derive all of its income from its marriage counselling service.
“Our main target clients are people who are going through a divorce or have cheating partners,” it said. “We will provide them with customised solutions to save their marriage.”
And by “customised solutions”, the firm means its “mistress disposal” professionals. 49-year old former reporter Shu Xin who is the founder of the firm told AFP news agency an interview that his goal is to “prevent divorces”.
“Every year we save some 5,000 couples,” he was quoted as saying.
Findings from the country’s government showed that 3.84 million Chinese adults filed for divorce in 2015, 17 times higher from 1986 when the Ministry of Affairs starting keeping records.
So what is the cause for this high rate of divorce in China? Some surveys cited that extramarital relationships are the major reason for broken marriages. While relationship counselling is common practice in much of the world, the profession of ‘mistress disposal’ has, at least so far, emerged as a uniquely Chinese offering.
A prominent Chinese sociologist, Li Yinhe is cynical about the motivation of women who pay for mistresses hunting service and she believes people who employ such kind of service do not love their husbands rather, they are mostly driven by material interests.
Back in the 1980s, it is perceived that people who slept with members of the opposite sex who were not their partner have a behavioural or ‘Zuo-Feng,’ problem, Li said. As more people now have financial freedom and choices in their personal lives, having a side lover doesn’t seem to pose a problem in China anymore.
That is why a company like Weiquing tapped into the fast-growing trend and now allegedly has more than 50 offices across China, including in Beijing, Anhui, Shenzhen and Shanghai. Their services range from 800 yuan per hour for straightforward counselling to 50,000 yuan for ‘disposing of’ the mistresses.
Based on figures from the Ministry of Civil Affairs, there are only 2 or 3 counsellors per million people in China, contrary to the average one marriage counsellor for every 300 to 500 families in other developed nations.