The excellent Danwei blog today has one of these only-in-China stories: A Beijing real estate developer decided to boost its sales by encouraging buyers to date its sales girls. If a couple gets married they receive a RMB 60,000 wedding present. The deal for the girls is that they not only get an 8% commission but can also find a wealthy husband. But there is probably more to the story as Danwei points out:
A local Real Estate executive I spoke to pointed out that the girls on offer are not that attractive. His theory is that the developer is not making money on selling apartments and so it signed a deal with a matchmaking agency to marry these “unwanted” girls to rich husbands. In return, the developer will receive much more than RMB 60,000 for every girl they manage to “give away”. This way, the girls don’t lose face by putting themselves on sale, the husbands don’t lose face by going directly to an agency to look for a bride, and the developer makes a nice profit. In a country with too many apartments and not enough girls, this doesn’t sound like a bad idea.