Purchasing a home is commonly viewed as one of the most expensive investments a person can make. This is particularly true in China where house rates continue to surge. Knowing the difficulties faced with real estate, it’s no surprise when the Chinese social media began buzzing as soon as a certain property story started to circulate.

It all began with a published story…

Once upon a time, a blogger with the pseudonym ‘Proud Qiaoba’ published a tale on the Tian Ya Yi Du forum. This story the author shared would have sounded like an outrageous romance novel if several news sites did not verify its factuality themselves. The protagonist of Proud Qiaoba’s story is his or her colleague, which the media decided to nickname ‘Xiaoli’.

And the plot thickens…

Xiaoli is a woman from Shenzhen who requested her 20 current boyfriends to get her an iPhone 7, which just launched at the time. She then traded those mobiles to Hui Shou Bao, a phone recycling site, for CNY 120, 000 (USD 17,390). Thereafter, she spent the cash by placing a deposit on a home in the countryside.

According to Proud Qiaoba, Xiaoli invited her and their friends to her new home and they were all surprised to hear how she was able to get the cash for the deposit. The author of the post shares that the lead character does not come from a rich family. Her father is a migrant worker, her mother is a housewife, while she is the oldest daughter. Both of her parents are growing older and she might have received a lot of stress to buy a house. Yet, no one really expected her to use this method.

The critics speak…

The majority of people on Sina Weibo, a microblogging site, has expressed their awe and wonder at Xiaoli’s ability to persuade her 20 lovers to each get her the latest Apple phone at the time. She received a hashtag that directly translates ’20 mobiles for a house’ where it quickly became the top trend in the country. In fact, it has been used 13 million times on Weibo.

Most readers commended her for her skills and even wanted some tips. Of course, there are some who questioned the authenticity of the story claiming that the phone recycling business might have been just behind it. To verify the facts, BBC Trending themselves asked the recycling company to validate the story. They also tried getting in touch with the company to interview Xiaoli, but she declined the offer.

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