A Chinese woman got her 20 boyfriends to each buy her an iPhone 7, and then sold the 20 cellphones to purchase a home.
The story was shared by a colleague of the woman, who is being referred to as Xiaoli by Chinese media, on blogging platform Tian Ya Yi Du's forum, BBC News reports.
According to the colleague's post, Xiaoli, from Shenzhen, asked her 20 boyfriends, whom she had at the same time, to purchase her an iPhone 7. She then sold the cellphones on Hui Shou Bao, a mobile phone recycling website, for around $17,700.
Xiaoli used the money to make a downpayment on a house in the countryside.
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Considering the starting price of an iPhone 7 is around $800 in China, according to Phone Arena, 20 would cost $16,000. So, Xiaoli may have pocketed $1,700 more than what her boyfriends spent on the phones by selling them online.
The co-worker said in the post that Xioali showed her new house to their group of friends and told them how she acquired it, and the news surprised them.
"Everyone in the office is talking about this now," the woman's colleague wrote, according to BBC News. "Who knows what her boyfriends think now this news has become public."
“[Xiaoli] is not from a wealthy family. Her mum is a housewife and her dad is a migrant worker, and she is the oldest daughter. Her parents are getting old and she might be under a lot pressure hoping to buy them a house... But it's still unbelievable that she could use this method!" she added.
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Users of microblogging site Sina Weibo have been discussing Xioali’s unconventional method in financing a home, and the hashtag “20 mobiles for a house” quickly became popular; it has been used more than 13 million times.
"I can't even find one boyfriend. She can actually find 20 boyfriends at the same time and even get them to buy her an iPhone 7. Just want to ask her to teach me such skills,” one user commented.
Another commenter said that given Xiaoli’s enterprising nature, she has “a bright future.”
But not all of the reactions to Xiaoli’s story have been positive.
One social media user said she was “the most shameless person.”
Others are suspicious of the story and think it may be a marketing ploy by Hui Shou Bao.
Hui Shou Bao confirmed to BBC that it did purchase 20 iPhone’s from a female customer at the beginning of October, paying her roughly $886 each.
Xiaoli declined to speak to the media.
"Her day-to-day life has been affected [from the local media attention] and she doesn't want the media to continue covering this story," Hui Shou Bao said on her behalf. "So she has turned down your interview request."