Tomb-sweeping services offered online

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail Xinhua, April 2, 2015
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Tomb-sweeping day, or Qingming Festival, is still a few days off, but shrewd Chinese businessmen are already cashing in on time-poor Chinese: by offering to pay respects to deceased ancestors on their behalf.

On e-commerce platform Taobao, scores of stores are offering proxy tomb-sweeping services. A vendor in Hengyang City of central China's Hunan Province said that a three-minute "weeping service" costs about 100 yuan (US$16 dollars), but the business could only offer one crier per grave due to high demand.

The festival is an occasion when Chinese mourn late relatives by weeping, burning incense and offering sacrifices.

"The tomb-sweeping process usually lasts 20 to 30 minutes, and we can take 10 pictures of the process and send them to you if required," explained a vendor in Nanchong City, southwest China's Sichuan Province.

Some have praised the services for providing an alternative for those who cannot make it home during the coming holiday.

Many, however, regard proxy tomb-sweeping as absurd.

"I think it would be weird to have someone I don't know sweep tombs for me," said Qin Tian, a Beijing-based consultant. "To me, tomb-sweeping is a chance to remember my deceased family members, and it certainly should be done by myself," he said.

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