Online retailers in China’s top e-commerce site Taobao briefly offered “breakup insurance” for the budding love affair between singer-songwriter Taylor Swift and actor Tom Hiddleston, before being asked to take down their sales by Taobao earlier this week.
Ever since pictures of Swift and Hiddleston together on a beach in Rhode Island were released two weeks ago, Chinese spectators have begun closely following their fledging relationship.
Said “breakup insurance” involves buyers paying up to 300 yuan to predict the duration of the “Hiddleswift” relationship, with bids ranging from forever to before Swift’s next album. Buyers are guaranteed to win double or triple their bid sums if their predictions came true within a certain time frame. It is unclear if buyers received “payouts” before the insurance was taken off of Taobao.
Online comments suggest that many of the buyers on the Hiddleswift “breakup insurance” are female fans of Hiddleston. While some reports claim that the “breakup insurance” breaks the Chinese laws that prohibit individuals from selling insurance, others speculate that they may have also infringed upon betting laws, which prohibits private and non-State-officiated gambling.
A Taobao official told the Legal Mirror that the Hiddleswift insurance items were asked to be taken off of the e-commerce web. “Our platform is paying close attention to ensure imaginative ideas are not being improperly presented by sellers in order to prevent our customers’ rights and interests from being harmed,” the official said.
The Swift/Hiddleston insurance is but one among a string of unorthodox insurance packages offered in China. Insurance packages for celebrity couples such as Katy Perry and Orland Bloom were also available for sale on the site. In addition, “Getting Drunk Insurance” and “Heartbreak Insurance” also appeared during the 2014 World Cup tournament in Brazil. The latter product, offered by Ancheng Insurance, was meant to protect soccer fans from the agony of elimination but was eventually banned by Chinese insurance regulators shortly after its launch.
Cover photo from yesky.com