BEIJING – Human breast milk has become a new luxury for China’s rich, with some firms offering wet-nurse services, a report says.
Xinxinyu, a domestic staff agency in the booming city of Shenzhen, which borders Hong Kong, provided wet nurses for newborns, the sick and other adults who pay high prices for the milk’s fine nutrition, the Southern Metropolis Daily said.
“Adult (clients) can drink it directly through breast feeding, or they can always drink it from a breast pump if they feel embarrassed,” the report quoted company owner Lin Jun as saying.
Wet nurses serving adults are paid around 16,000 yuan ($2,600) a month — more than four times the Chinese average wage — and those who are “healthy and good-looking” could earn even more, the report said. Traditional beliefs in some parts of China hold that breast milk has the best and most easily digestible nutrition for people who are ill.
But the report sparked heated debate in the media and on Chinese social media, with most users condemning the service as unethical. “This adds to China’s problem of treating women as consumer goods and the moral degradation of China’s rich,” said Cao Baoyin, a writer and regular commentator in various Chinese media, on his blog.
Xinxinyu has been ordered to suspend its operations and had its business license revoked for multiple reasons, including missing three years of annual checks, regulators in Shenzhen said, although the wet-nurse service was not among the factors cited.