‘Designated drinker’ app helps seal deals in China’s boozy business culture

Source:Global Times Published: 2018/1/7 15:08:39

When it comes to doing business in China, baijiu and heavy drinking is often part of the deal.

Edaijia, an Uber-like service that offers on-call designated drivers to get drunken dealmakers (and their cars) home safely, has expanded services to include hiring out "designated drinkers," Beijing Youth Daily reported.

The app is hooking up users seeking to keep their head in the game with boozing bodyguards to take the obligatory shots of alcohol at meetings, out with clients and other business-related events.

Offered in 36 Chinese cities, the app lists potential designated drinkers by location, "alcohol tolerance level" and other hashtags.

For example, profile "buhuileiderensheng" boasts the ability to drink "a full keg of beer, at least three boxes of red wine or 1.5 liters of baijiu."

While the practice of businesses enlisting heavyweight drinkers with the binge drinking used to lube up deals is commonplace, the service has raised liability concerns.

While the app maintains is not responsible for any possible "drinking accidents, lawyers say Edaijia would still be on the hook.

"According to Chinese laws, Edaijia has to supervise what occurs while providing its designated drinker service," lawyer Chang Sha told Beijing Youth Daily.

Chang also warned designated drinkers are also at risk. "Your customer cannot be held responsible as you are electing to make the choice yourself," she added.

So far the app has been met with mixed reviews.

"I tried to get in touch with 20 of them, but no one replied," wrote Net user "Xiaochuan," "How do I know they aren't lying [about their abilities?]"

Posted in: ODD NEWS

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