Wandering into the main gate of People’s Park, a large public gathering space in the heart of Shanghai, one might think he or she has stumbled upon a bustling flea market.
Rows of colorful stalls line the walkways, which are crowded with old couples elbowing each other to examine the thousands of offerings.
According to Shang-Hsiu Koo, CFO of Jiayuan, China’s largest online matchmaking website, what users value most in a potential match are education level, age, height and residency (in China, having a residency permit, in a top-tier city is highly desirable because only those with permits have access to public services and certain employment opportunities in that city).
In addition, for men today to be taken seriously, they must own a car and hold a deed to an apartment.
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.
Rising Pressure for Both Sexes As a result of the one-child Policy, many families began to selectively abort female children in order to try to have boys, who are traditionally preferred due to the cultural expectation that men will help support the family and take care of their parents in old age. Bliney estimated that more than 1.5 million sex-selective abortions were carried out in China between 1983 and1990.
China quickly felt the impact of this series of population-control measures.This trend will continue, as the urbanization rate is expected to surpass 60% by 2020 and 75% by 2045 (currently more than 82% of the U. In particular, urbanization in China has uprooted the traditional community-based networks through which people meet their spouses and has thus made it more difficult for Chinese adults to find mates.“More so than ever, Chinese people are leaving their hometowns for educational or professional opportunities in cities like Beijing, and in doing so are forced to recreate their social network from scratch,” says Koo.These marriage markets are a logical extension of the traditional Chinese matchmaking culture, where family elders drive the screening for, and selection of, their child’s future mate.At the same time, however, there is an entirely different market in operation, one where millions of exchanges happen daily, and the “shoppers” are the singles themselves.