By Hayden Wright
Celebrity love is an economy: Stocks rise and fall, deals are brokered, brands merge and acquire other brands. At the end of the day, success is a roll of the dice. Until now, Chinese star watchers could unofficially bet on high-profile romances like Tom Hiddleston and Taylor Swift. One auction of “insurance” policies offered buyers double their money if Hiddleswift bites the dust. The policy has since been deleted by Taobao, China’s largest online marketplace.
Gambling operations fly beneath the government radar masked as “breakup insurance” policies: Winnings are disbursed as a form of damages for aggrieved “fans” of high-profile pairings, who more likely bet against their long-term prospects. Alibaba, the e-commerce giant that owns Taobao, released a statement clarifying that those dodgy vendors are not qualified insurance sellers.
If betters lost their shirt over Taylor Swift and Calvin Harris, predicting Hiddleswift’s demise could have been their big shot to break even. But who would bet against those two, who are obviously laying groundwork to go the distance? As Kenny Rogers sang, “you’ve got to know when to hold ’em, when to fold ’em, when to walk away, and when to run.”