Alibaba, the Chinese e-commerce giant - has spotted a way to profit from China's spiralling infertility and dwindling birth rate by offering deals on an unusual product: sperm.
Alibaba has been known to sell everything from Buddha-shaped pears to fat-freezing machines in 16-year history.
Earlier this month it posted a three-day promotion for seven sperm banks on its daily deals site Juhuasuan.
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A £516 subsidy for donors tempted more than 22,000 men to sign up to the offer, Bloomberg reported, citing a company statement.
Alibaba put its popularity down to the fact that donors were connected to sperm banks online, bypassing the need for what some might see as an awkward in-person consultation. Afterwards participants then had to agree to a physical check-up within three months.
The move follows the success of products such as paternity tests and sperm motility kits on the same site and reflects the company’s efforts push further into healthcare.
It also comes after a number of China’s sperm banks have reported shortages.
An Alibaba survey revealed that high intelligence and good features were the most sought after characteristics for donors.
Alibaba runs several online marketplaces including China’s largest shopping website Taobao. Last year Alibaba listed on the New York Stock Exchange in the world’s largest initial public offering at $25 billion.
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