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Why get drunk when this app lets someone else get drunk on your behalf?

A surrogate drinking service launched in China that lets you connect with others willing to drink on your behalf. We aren't sure if the app will make its way out of China.

Published onDecember 31, 2017

  • eDaihe lets you connect with “surrogate drinkers,” or people who will drink on your behalf
  • The app taps into China’s burgeoning on-demand and gig economies
  • In China, the amount of food and alcohol you consume is connected to the respect you show hosts

It’s the beginning of China’s holiday season, which means people will be out and about, having more than just a few drinks. That temptation will be strong — the Chinese culture places plenty of weight on being able to hold your alcohol — but a new app lets you bypass the bodily effects of alcoholic drinks by having someone else deal with them instead.

Called eDaihe, which is Mandarin for “to drink on behalf of,” the app connects you with “surrogate drinkers,” or other people who, well, will drink on your behalf. Once you put in your location, you can pick these surrogate drinkers based on where they are, how much alcohol they can consume, and even how clever their introductions are.

According to South China Morning Post, the app, developed by Chinese startup eDaijia, is an effort to tap into China’s increasing on-demand and gig economies, as well as the company’s drinking culture. Regarding the two economies, it is predicted they will produce 400 million self-employed people by 2036, with the country’s drinking culture creating a $2.4 billion industry in recent years.

eDaijia spokesperson He Dongpeng says eDaihe also taps into the power of friendship:

Most people who drink are social animals, so we thought why don’t we launch a surrogate drinking service to help them make friends.

As for the app itself, the surrogate drinking service is being used in 36 cities across China, including Beijing, Shanghai, and Guangzhou. It’s been a popular app so far, since over 100,000 people signed up to be surrogate drinkers within 24 hours of its launch.

There are a few things that still need to be ironed out, such as the pricing structure. The company spokesperson says there is no set price list for the app’s services, though users and surrogate drinkers can communicate and settle on prices.

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Also, there are no restrictions on age or gender, with eDaijia not verifying your profile information once you sign up. All you need to create a profile is your name, gender, location, and how much you can drink. The company’s spokesperson didn’t deny safety concerns that the app might bring up, but says, “But we still need to embrace new things in order to innovate.”

Finally, because of eDaihe’s cultural implementations, we’re not sure if it will make its way outside of China. In China, the amount of food and alcohol you take in is directly proportional to the respect guests have for hosts. As such, guests are expected to take in as much as possible, so having an app like this is helpful for those without the stomach to do so.