Beijing Start-Up Now Offers Sex Dolls For Rent

It's official: China's sharing economy has reached its peak.

After shared workout pods, stools luxury cars, and, of course, bicycles, Shanghaist reports that a Beijing-based startup now has come up with a "mesmerizingly grotesque" idea: what if people could rent sex dolls through an app and return them after a period of time so that other silicone slammers could take advantage of the very same product?

And no, sadly this is not a joke.

The Chinese app, which is called Ta Qu, or "Touch" in English, was launched in 2015 as a platform for discussing issues about sex and sexuality. Over the past two years, it has pivoted or "(d)evolved" into a sex doll sharing app, which is now being tested in Beijing.  The Global Times reports that daily rentals cost 298 yuan, or less than $50, while users of the app can rent dolls for a week for the price of 1,298 yuan, after making an 8,000 yuan deposit.

The dolls then get delivered right to the user's doorstep.

According to the Chinese outlet, there are currently five models to choose from: "Greek bikini model," "US Wonder Woman," "Korean housewife," "Russian teenager" and "Hong Kong car race cheerleader." Users can customize the dolls to their liking by picking out hair and eye color, as well as their outfits. 

Here is what $50 per day rents you:

For those asking the obvious question, the company states that it also has hygiene on its mind, as explained by their official policy.

"The dolls' lower parts are changed for every customer," reads the app. "Please remove the lower parts before returning. After the lower parts are cleaned, the doll can be used repeatedly."

The sex rental-sharing app is currently trying to make a name for itself in China's booming adult toy market. On Weibo, where the company has more than 300,000 followers, it announced it would be giving out 20,000 free condoms as a way of promotion. It has also established several "pop-up" locations in Beijing to inform residents about their services, while even allowing people to pose for photos with their dolls while riding on the city's subway.

Hoping to capitalize on China's infamous gender imbalance, as well as its online gaming culture which breeds hordes of lonely young men, it remains to be seen whether Ta Qu will actually be able to translate the sharing economy model to sex dolls. But hey, at least it's a better idea than shared umbrellas.