China’s Sugar Daddy App Blurs the Line Between Date and Escort

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Richard Gere and Julia Roberts in a scene from the film 'Pretty Woman', 1990

The first sign that China’s new dating app, Spoil, is different from other dating apps is at the login screen, where one set of users, primarily men with money to burn, are prompted to sign in as “successful individuals (SIs),” while another set of users, primarily women below the age of 24, sign in as “attractive individuals (AIs),” presumably because their success-levels are TBD.  Suppose an AI catches an SI’s fancy, but perhaps is a bit out of the SI’s league? The SI can level the playing field by throwing in a sweetener—a cash reward, delivered through the app, in exchange for a phone number and a date.

(MORE: New Dating App Tosses Together Salad Lovers)

The app’s Shanghai-based creator, Lenny Lv, told the South China Morning Post that the app is “not an escort service,” but rather an efficient tool for busy executives to cut through back and forth messaging and get to the bottom line. The phone app launches on Saturday in Hong Kong, Taiwan and Macau. In the meantime, SI’s and AI’s in the rest of the world will have to continue hassling each other with messages.

[South China Morning Post]