Hired by suspicious wives, they counsel women on how to save their marriages, while inducing the mistress to disappear.
A New York Times (NYT) report says mistress-dispelling services, which is becoming common in China's larger cities, specialize in ending affairs between married men and their extramarital lovers.
For a fee, they will subtly infiltrate the mistress’s life, winning her friendship and trust in an attempt to break up the affair.
The New York Times report says the services have emerged due to the fact that China’s economy has opened up in recent decades, and extramarital affairs have grown more common.
The report says there are no exact figures for the number of mistress dispellers in China, but a search on Baidu, a Chinese search engine, yield pages of ads and blogs that link back to mistress-dispelling companies based in cities like Shanghai and Guangzhou.
Director of Weiqing International Marriage Hospital Emotion Clinic Group, a mistress-dispelling service in Shanghai.Shu Xin, says Mistress dispelling typically begins with research on the targeted woman, An investigation team — often including a psychotherapist and, to keep on the safe side, a lawyer — analyzes her family, friends, education and job before sending in an employee whom Weiqing calls a counselor.
“Once we figure out what type of mistress she is — in it for money, love or sex — we draw up a plan,” Mr. Shu said.
The counselor might move into the mistress’s apartment building or start working out at her gym, getting to know her, becoming her confidante and eventually turning her feelings against her partner.
Sometimes, the counselor finds her a new lover, a job opening in another city or otherwise persuades her to leave the married man. Weiqing and other agencies said their counselors were prohibited from becoming intimately involved with the mistresses or from using or threatening violence.
The NYT story says the services can be a bit costly and start at about US$45,000, but he said that costs can mount if counselors need to rent expensive apartments or cars to endear themselves to the mistresses. Clients usually pay half the fee in advance and the balance once the case is successfully concluded. The companies say it typically takes about three months to dispel a mistress.
Last year, Weiqing said it had 10,000 clients, up from 8,000 the year before, while Kang Na, who runs a mistress-dispelling service called the Reunion Company in the southern city of Shenzhen, said he received about 175 inquiries a day, up from 96 a day in 2015.
According to the NYT, Some mistress dispellers have begun to expand their operations overseas, mainly serving ethnic Chinese women living abroad. But Mr. Kang said he was preparing to start English-language services for non-Chinese clients in Europe and North America by opening a call center based in the Philippines or Malaysia.
“We began by servicing Chinese,’’ Mr. Kang said. “But we’ve discovered in the course of our work that it’s not just our own people who have these problems. Everyone does,” the NYT story concluded.