“Mistress-dispelling” companies in China often employ gym instructors, counselors, lawyers and investigators to get the other women to drop their romantic interloping, according to the South China Morning Post. Mistresses targeted by these companies are helped in moving on to new careers, social circles and romances, oftentimes backed by the argument that the husbands do not actually ever intend to divorce.
In Shenzhen, dubbed the “City of Mistresses” because of the high number of second wives kept by Hong Kong men there, Connor’s business has seen so much success that he plans to open a branch in every mainland province within two years.
Those willing to settle for an internet and phone-based consultation with Connor face fees starting at 30,000 yuan ($4,719). Wives who want actual face time with him to talk about how to get rid of their husbands’ mistresses, however, pay 100,000 yuan ($15,731) or more. He has even charged up to 2 million yuan ($314,628) in certain cases, which he says isn’t uncommon.
Women in China employ services aimed at breaking up their husbands’ affairs because divorces there can take time and generally favor men.
“This division of labour among partners hasn’t changed, so when something goes wrong in the house, it’s normally the wives who bring about changes or provide a solution,” Sun Yat-sen University gender scholar Ke Qianting explained. “Some also do it because our marriage law does not work in the wives’ favour. It’s easy for men to hide their assets when it comes to settlements, and child support is rarely executed if the man simply fails to pay.”