Wednesday, October 2, 2013

The Hunt for a Chinese Wife

It is certainly the height of irony when a society that has always had a traditional preference for sons now has a desperate need for more daughters. Coupled with the country’s one-child policy, China is now facing an alarming surplus in single men; in a society that values marriage and family above everything else, having millions of unmarried men certainly poses a serious challenge to some of its beliefs and practices. As a result, the hunt for a suitable Chinese wife has become an increasingly difficult task.

The amazing growth of China’s economy has certainly improved the lives of a huge percentage of its population. But as in most powerful economies, the distribution of wealth also becomes increasingly skewed over time. For the countless, single men of China who struggle from one paycheck to the next, the traditional standards against which a “good husband” is measured practically doom them to a life of bachelorhood.

On the other end of the spectrum, unmarried rich men can have their pick of an ideal Chinese wife. In fact, all they have to do is pay for the professional services of an agency whose business is to find and collect potential partners based on their client’s specifications and personal preferences.

Indeed, China’s shortage in women has created plenty of business opportunities in the country’s marriage market. In addition to the boom in the Chinese online dating industry, the more “traditional” business of matchmaking has also evolved to meet modern demands.

For example, there are now dating agencies that exclusively cater to the needs of male multi-millionaires and billionaires looking for a suitable Chinese wife. They pay an exorbitant annual membership fee to have so-called professional love hunters do the footwork and literally go on the hunt for single, Chinese women that meet their requirements.

These requirements often include a master’s degree from a reputable university; being a certain age; having white, flawless skin; having a certain height and weight; some even demand a wife that looks like a Chinese model or actress that they admire.

The very high demand for a Chinese wife leaves many more, single, working-class men with very poor prospects, or no prospects at all. Traditional standards mean that a husband must be able to provide his wife and family with a stable income, a house, and, sometimes, even a car. But for most of these less privileged bachelors, just supporting themselves is already a daily struggle.

With the cost of living in China, especially in the cities, becoming too high for the bigger part of the country’s population to afford, many single men face the very dire reality that they may never be good enough and earn and save enough to find a Chinese woman to marry.

And then there are those single men in China’s rural areas for whom being single for life is a choice that was already made for them. The greatest human migration in history – that of hundreds of millions of rural Chinese migrating to the urban areas – involved single-journey tickets for most rural Chinese women whose plans included finding a well-paying job and a good husband and building a new life in the city. This means that the pool of women eligible for marriage in the countryside became even smaller and the competition for a good Chinese wife became even fiercer for the many men left behind.

The Chinese dating and marriage markets now also have foreign men jumping into the fray, propelling the demand for a Chinese wife even higher, and these foreign men have an advantage of being able to offer a different, and perhaps better, way of life. This gives them an edge, especially regarding Chinese ladies approaching their thirties or older. With so many single, good men competing for them, Chinese daughters who were the less preferred children can now have the last laugh.

Foreign men who seriously wish to find a Chinese wife should always keep abreast of current issues that affect today’s Chinese women. There are tons of great information about Chinese women, Chinese dating and relationships, and all things Chinese on the blogs, forums, and magazine of (the home of trusted Chinese dating).

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