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2021-04-16 11:38:41  + video 

Editor's note: Would you pay 20,000 yuan ($3,000) for a duck? What if, instead of getting to eat it, you had to spend your time bathing and grooming and wiping up after it? It may not sound like the most appetizing proposition, but for young urban Chinese cooped up in high rises with money to spend and no one to spend it on, ducks are an increasingly popular pet choice.

Not just any ducks, though. Compared to the birds you might find at a market, call ducks are smaller, more obedient, and more adorable: unlike regular ducks, they trigger what anthropologists call the “cute response.” Whatever the reason, it seems to be contagious, as everyone from young professionals to the flamboyant failson Wang Sicong are splurging money on their fowl friends, including specially made cages, snacks, even diapers.

To better understand what motivates a person to drop thousands of yuan on a duck, DxChannel talks to some of the people feeding China’s demand for cuddly duckies.

Editors: Wang Jiaqi, Hannah Lund and Kilian O’Donnell.