High-end nannies or sugar babies?

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A summary of the top news in Chinese society and culture for August 23, 2017. Part of the daily SupChina newsletter, a convenient package of China’s business, political, and cultural news delivered to your inbox for free. Subscribe here.

Anna May Wong, an early Chinese-American Hollywood star and fashion icon of the 1930s.

“For the first time in my life, prostitution sounds civilized and innocent to me.”

“I see nothing wrong with it if both are single and it’s a consensual relationship.”

These are two typical reactions (in Chinese) to a new form of shady business emerging in the Chinese nanny market, where young and pretty girls are hired by wealthy older men to take care of not only their household chores but also their client’s sexual needs.

Kankan News discovered (in Chinese) an underground market in Beijing on a series of nanny-seeking posts on several recruiting websites. While the average monthly salary for a full-time Chinese nanny in the capital ranges from 5,000 yuan ($750) to 8,000 yuan ($1,200), a few job postings, marked as “private” (私人 sīrén) or “high-end” (高端 gāoduān), stand out by offering an unusually high salary of more than 20,000 yuan ($3,000) per month.

A reporter from Kankan News applied for one of these positions and was given a job interview. During the interview, she was told that the minimum monthly wage for a private nanny was around 30,000 yuan ($4,500), and that only basic skills were required such as cooking and laundry. However, she was also told that a private nanny needs to live with her employer.

Satisfied with the female reporter’s age and look, the manager introduced her to a potential customer, a 42-year-old man running a clothing business, who explicitly told the reporter that he was looking for a “nanny to sleep with” (陪床阿姨 péichuángāyí).

The Beijing police have opened an investigation into the case and vowed to punish any form of prostitution.