M'sian Entrepreneur Goes Viral For Promoting Rent-A-Friend App & Paying RM230 For A 'Date'

It turns out that the person who used the service is the founder of the rent-a-friend app and the photos were part of a marketing gimmick.

Cover image via Mumu Ngui (Facebook)

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Renting a girlfriend or boyfriend from an app is among the latest innovations of this century in our ever-increasing online dating world

Commonly found in countries like China and Japan, such a service has also expanded to include renting a mother or even an entire family to keep people accompanied.

It is truly a lonely world out there...

If you wish to rent a partner in Malaysia as well, you can do so now with the Ribbon app!

A Malaysian recently went viral for renting a "cute lady" and paying RM230 for it, but netizens soon found out that he was actually the founder of the app offering the service.

In a Facebook post, Facebook user Mumu Ngui first shared that he rented the lady for two hours and met her at Desa ParkCity in Kuala Lumpur for a run.

According to Ngui, renting the lady for a cardio session worked out well for him because he could not get any of his friends to join him on that Saturday morning, 16 July, adding in jest that he does not have friends anymore.

"I am very happy that I was able to make a new friend while I was running with her this morning. She even helped to take photos of me," he said.

"The lady was physically fit. Even though I regularly exercise, I had trouble keeping up with her. She's really a professional."

Ngui continued singing praises for the service as the rental running partner brought him to a great restaurant for breakfast after the run

They chatted over coffee at the restaurant.

"The young lady used to be a professional baker. I can order cakes from her in the future," he related.

"I will definitely give a five-star review. Recommended to rent again."

Ngui said that he rented the lady from an app called Ribbon, of which he is the founder, explaining that the platform allows users to rent local people to be their friends

He also said the app allows users and rental friends to exchange cultures with each other.

He left the app's download link in the comments section, and a check by SAYS found that the app has over 10,000 downloads on the Google Play Store.

Ngui's post has garnered over 2,100 shares and 1,500 comments since it was uploaded.

Many netizens made fun of the 'advance dating app' service, while a handful noted that the RM230 fee was exorbitant.

Ngui used to run a live broadcasting app with 600 talents. The rent-a-friend Ribbon app is reportedly his latest business venture.

It is understood that Ngui was also a YouTuber, a path he started about 10 years ago and has since accumulated over 10 million views. 

Speaking to Tantan News (TTN), a sister site of SAYS, the app founder said the inspiration for launching the service came from his visit to Taiwan. He recalled that it was the local people who made the trip meaningful to him every time he visited.

"Visiting local attractions is very 'touristy'. What we want to do (with the Ribbon app) is to offer 'depth', allowing users to immerse in local cultures," said Ngui.

Image via

When asked what his response was to netizens' speculation that the app could be turned into a hookup app, the entrepreneur said he could not change the way people think but insisted that it is an app for people to experience local cultures.

"Such comments sadden me because it doesn't mean that renting a friend will definitely turn into something sexual," he lamented.

"It is really unfair for people to say that our app is for hookups or even prostitution when it is designed to allow people to rent someone to hike, bike, and talk business with."

He also told TTN that users can not sort rental friends by their gender as it is not a dating app. Instead, users can find rental friends through the activities they offer.

The rent-a-partner service started as early as 2017:

Meanwhile, check out these stories to understand how Malaysians date online:

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