When purchasing insurance, few people would think of taking out a policy offering financial protection should the status of Taylor Swift and Tom Hiddleston’s much-vaunted relationship change. But that is exactly what netizens have been buying on e-commerce website, Taobao. A wave of Taobao vendors began offering ‘breakup insurance’ on ‘Hiddleswift’s’ romantic prospects this month. Should the pair split within a year, the ‘insured’ party doubles its money. Nor is this the only weird insurance being peddled by Taobao sellers. According to Legal Daily, other offers include a return if Katy Perry wins a Grammy and even if the new X-Men movie features a bald Professor X. One seller claims to have made monthly sales of more than 500 such policies, but says each client purchase is capped at Rmb400 ($59.83).
Most netizens were quick to criticise the practice, saying that Taobao sellers were using insurance as a cover for illegal gambling. When Legal Daily asked Taobao executives about it, the e-commerce giant played down the activity, saying that “the infinite imagination of our sellers is itself part of the Taobao fun”. However, the newspaper noted that the insurance policies quickly disappeared from Taobao thereafter.
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