A woman from the city of Shenzhen in southern China has everyone talking after she reportedly purchased a home after convincing her 20 boyfriends to buy her 20 iPhone 7s.
Reports say the story caught the attention of millions in the country on Saturday (Oct. 29) after it was posted to the Tian Ya Yi Du blogging forum. The author who goes by the pseudonym “Proud Qiaoba” penned the story about her co-worker “Xiaoli.” Changing her name for privacy reasons, Qiaoba says Xiaoli raised 115010 Chinese yuan ($16,975.40 USD) for a down payment on a home in the countryside. The author explained Xiaoli’s financial troubles and says she’s been pressured by her aging parents to purchase them a new home. “[Xiaoli] is not from a wealthy family. Her mum is a housewife and her dad is a migrant worker, and she is the oldest daughter. Her parents are getting old and she might be under a lot pressure hoping to buy them a house… But it’s still unbelievable that she could use this method!” she wrote.
The story landed on Chinese social media with the hashtag translating to ’20 mobiles for a house’ and has been used over 13 million times. BBC Trending verified the story by speaking to Hui Shou Bao, the mobile phone recycling business Xiaoli used to sell the phones. A representative confirmed that 20 iPhone 7s were purchased from a woman in September for approximately 6,000 Chinese yuan ($885.60 USD) each.
Because of the attention, Xiaoli has refused to do interviews claiming that her “day-to-day life has been affected (by the local media attention) and she doesn’t want the media to continue covering this story.” It’s a bit too late now.