They share a common yearning for connection and found it on a touch screen.
Many see it as just a game and can easily distinguish between the computerized and reality, while others are perpetually stuck in a love loop, desperately waiting for the next update of the game.
In the 2008 movie "Lars and the Real Girl" Ryan Gosling plays a man who introduces a life sized doll as his girlfriend and takes her everywhere, eventually gaining the town's acceptance.
Hiroyuki tells me that having these dolls is like being the manager of a big pop band. He takes them out, photographing them in some of Japan's top tourist spots and then posting the pictures on his website.Like millions in China who leave their hometowns to work in the cities, the 29-year-old car designer leads a bachelor’s life during the week, returning to his wife and toddler in neighbouring Hebei province every weekend.Liu has been married for more than a decade, and does not want to be unfaithful, but still needs to satisfy his sexual appetites.Hiroyuki would rather live with his family of 17 dolls than have a relationship with a real woman.WATCH: China's Fake Boyfriends During our interview, he struggles to define his relationship with all of them.