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 Taiwan: Virtual cohabitation ends up with real marriage

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Join date : 2009-10-05

PostSubject: Taiwan: Virtual cohabitation ends up with real marriage   Mon Oct 26, 2009 9:46 am

Taiwan: Virtual cohabitation ends up with real marriage


by Ivy Chen

TAIPEI, TAIWAN - To move in with a boyfriend is a huge decision, so why not talk him into an online cohabitation as a first step? One couple who were previously complete strangers got married after living together through the Internet for only 14 days.

It may sound like a plot of an online romance novel, but in the case of Peng Chao-quan and Huan Chen-hsuan, it became reality.

Both 30 years old, Peng and Huan found each other on a social networking Web site, iPartment, and then virtually moved in together as a couple.

For Peng, an operations assistant, the Web site was a godsend because he has been so busy working, he hasn't been able to expand his social network for years.

After 14 days of moving in together online and exchanging photos, the two decided to tie the knot for real in front of the office of the company operating iPartment on Oct. 20.

“One out of six users had or is having the experience of virtual cohabitation with another netizen,” said Irene Chang, the Marketing PR Assistant Manager of iPartment, to The China Post in an interview.

“Boasting more than 1.8 million users in Taiwan, iPartment features one and sole goal: matchmaking.” iPartment users can send invitations to an acquaintance, a possible mate, or in some cases, a total stranger, to ask him or her to be roomies in either one's virtual apartment.

And what can one do with the supposedly intimate roommate? Parents don't fuss, for the answer is pretty simple.

On iPartment, online characters carry out such activities as giving flowers, decorating, keeping a pet, etc., to build up users' affection toward each other.

For anyone who is searching for their other half, just log onto this Web site and make friends with other online characters. And who knows? Lightning could strike.

Source: Diva - Virtual cohabitation ends up with real marriage
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