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New freelance opportunity: a sorry state of affairs

Freelance financial journalists in China have found a new source of work — disgruntled wives out to shame their husbands.

If you are active on Mainland China’s social media platforms, you will have noticed a recent trend of women publishing open letters claiming their husbands are having affairs. These letters can often have severe repercussions, with the philanderers sometimes losing their jobs as companies try to limit any reputational damage.

The open letters have so far, for whatever reason, mainly come from the spouses of bankers and other financial industry executives. But not everyone may have the writing skills required to totally shame their husbands — creating an opportunity for entrepreneurial journalists.

One such writer told me that, when a friend of hers discovered that her husband had been cheating on her, an open letter was the first thing that came to mind.

Her friend, who only got married a few months ago, analysed the situation and decided the best way to end the relationship would be in full view of the internet. She thinks her husband, who works for the government, will lose his job. She just needs to come up with the right words.

So, she asked her journalist friend to help her write the story of the affair, detailing the evidence, the emotional burden, and so on. The experience has convinced the journalist that she can add a whole new source of business — and charge a premium rate in the process.

What an uplifting tale of intelligence and business savvy! I can’t imagine why journalists have such a bad reputation.