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This is the world of Chinese online dating, a nascent industry that has taken off and is expected to break two billion RMB (US8 million) in total annual revenue by 2014, according to a recent report by Analysys International.
What is interesting about this industry is not only its rapid growth in a conservative society that frowns upon courting more than one person at a time, but also its potential to change the social norms that are part of dating both online and offline.
While urbanization opens up economic opportunities for these individuals, it simultaneously closes social outlets, making online dating networks increasingly important in the search for a potential partner.
Impact of the One-child Policy Moving to a new city and restarting one’s social life might be considered commonplace in many countries.
But the “goods” being hawked by the seasoned ladies behind the stalls are not scarves or souvenirs, but rather singles.
Welcome to the People’s Park “marriage market,” where thousands of adults — mostly aging parents — come daily to scan the sea of personal ads, meet with matchmakers and chat up other parents eager to find a partner for their overworked, unwed children.
Such factors make online dating more attractive to this generation by providing them with instant access to an extensive network of singles and a low-pressure environment in which to approach potential partners.
With a birth rate of 120 men for every 100 women, rural, lower-income men are most affected.
General demographic forecasts suggest that within the next decade, about 15% to 20% of Chinese men will not be able to find brides.
While the mean age of marriage is rising, marriage is still nearly universal among the Chinese.
More than 99% of women between the ages of 35 and 39 in mainland China have been married at least once, according to a study by Gavin W. The traditional emphasis on finding a partner with a similar educational pedigree and economic standing is still followed in the digital world.