Earlier this month, police in Hangzhou responded to a call after bar staff reported finding a suspicious suitcase. It contained two million yuan in cash ($314,204) — an extraordinary amount of money, maybe even life-changing for some.


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The police managed to identify the owner, and finally, the owner's friend turned up to explain the situation. It came to light that the owner had had a quarrel with his girlfriend about breaking up, resulting in his girlfriend requesting a ‘break-up’ fee of 10 million RMB. The owner went to the bank and took 2 million yuan out right away, but the girl rejected the money as it wasn’t enough. Failing to reach an agreement, they both just left after the fight, no money having been exchanged.


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At the end of the case, the owner came to the police office and was reunited with the money. Break-up fees have emerged in recent years in China as a sort of compensation at the end of a long-term relationship.

They decide, based on the amount of time, effort and money they have invested in the relationship, how much money they should give to their former partner.


Some people look pragmatically at the amount of money their partner had spent on them while they were dating, whereas others set a levy based on how severe they think the emotional damage of the break-up will be.

 

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Break-up fees are more commonly paid by men — out of guilt or in order to offset their partner's (assumed) grief. But we think it’s fair to say relationships should be more about the effort made by couples, instead of a monetary value.

 

What do you think of break-up fees?

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