Young Chinese Turn to Taobao for Psychological Support

On Taobao, young Chinese can find plenty of people willing to help them talk through their mental health struggles for a fee. However, it is unclear where companionship ends and counseling begins.

Du Xiaomiao, 29, launched her online chat service on e-commerce platform Taobao in April. For only 5 yuan ($0.69), clients can talk to Du about whatever they want for however long they want. Her store is called “tree hollow,” or shudong, which refers to online spaces for people to express their anxieties and mental struggles.

With each session usually lasting two to three hours, Du listens to customers as they share what has been bothering them and make confessions. From time to time, despite having no official counseling training, the financial planner offers clients her thoughts and advice.

“I see many people stuck in their relationships … Although I can’t help all of them, I try my best to help those I meet,” Du told Sixth Tone. She calls herself a “healer” rather than a counselor. Continue to read the full article here
– This article originally appeared on Sixth Tone