As Neil Sedaka sang, breaking up is hard to do — but not if you live in China. For a mere $30, Chinese lotharios can now hire a complete stranger to dump their partners for them.
The past few months have seen a boom in 'break-up proxy' websites that help timid customers end their romances with minimal hassle and confrontation.
The most basic packages buy one break-up, either over the phone, on email or via social messaging services.
If that sounds a little cold, there's always the platinum package, which includes the services of a 'break-up agent' who will end the relationship in person, even giving small gifts to the jilted lover to ease their pain and humiliation.
The sites also cater to romantic wrongdoers, who are desperate to win their lovers back. For a small fee, misbehaving spouses can hire professional grovelers, who will deliver the perfect apology to their unimpressed other halves.
The increase in the number of these sites coincides with the rising divorce rate in China as couples struggle to make ends meet in difficult economic conditions.