Once a potential match has been found, the marriage negotiations begin. Chinese matchmaking traditions go back generations. Prior to the s, parents would choose prospective partners for their children based on matching by socioeconomic class.
Online dating is changing this, and with it, Chinese society. Within this total, million are unmarried, according to government records. Online dating companies have even more optimistic usage statistics, with each firm asserting they have million or more users. The generation born between and is driving this growth.
They are expected to get married and have children just like their parents. However, unlike their guardians—whose choices were restricted by geography and social class—the pool of potential mates has swelled with the rise of the internet dating. Appealing to tradition Image Credit: TechNode According to Dr. One such example is Baihe. Baihe collects user data that panders to the more traditional aspects of courtship in China. The service, founded in , claims to have over million users.
It also operates an online-to-offline O2O service in which its users can make use of its many physical stores for matchmaking purposes and links customers to businesses in the marriage industry. It claims to have over million users and operates offline stores in 71 cities, making it the biggest online dating site in the country.
The website was founded in by Fudan University student Gong Haiyan after she failed to find a partner through already existing dating sites. One year after launching, Gong found a husband on the website she created.
The types of information Baihe verifies includes education level, assets, Sesame Credit scores, and real names. Another user of both Momo and Tantan surnamed Li, agrees. More matches, more money The increase in active users has quickly filled bank accounts. In , the total revenue for the sector was RMB 1. Tantan, which was acquired by Momo earlier this year, reported similar results. According to the company, over million people have signed up, and their monthly active users exceed 10 million.
The app has enabled between three and four billion matches, in which two users express interest in each other, in the three years since it launched.
These statistics may be even higher in the countryside where poverty is rife, and men are expected to accumulate enough money to attract a prospective wife. Additionally, the rate of separation has soared while the marriage rate has dwindled.
The crude divorce rate, indicated by the number of splits for every people, has increased from 1. She explains that the increase in the divorce rate is caused in part by rising gender equality and decreasing stigma associated with separations. Also, simplified divorce laws are helping people leave loveless marriages. Despite this, Mu Guangzong, a professor at the Population Research Institute at Peking University, insists that young people should avoid the growing trend of staying single.
Platforms like Momo, Tantan, Jiayuan, and Baihe are, in their own ways, seeking to address these concerns. He says his company offers users a way for more introverted users to meet new people, and in doing so, tackle the concerns of there being too many singles. Baihe also started to help individuals with little time meet a prospective life partner. The company claims to achieve this by introducing psychology into the field of matchmaking.
Like Jiayuan, it was created out of necessity. Founder Wang Lifan noticed the difficulty her single friends had finding partners and decided to start an online matchmaking service. According to researchers, online dating can also have a profound effect on marriage diversity within an online community. Previously, potential partners would be introduced by family members or friends, sourcing them from their social circles.
With the rise of internet dating, people are meeting complete strangers. This significantly increases the chances of pairing with someone from an entirely different background.
This finding is becoming more and more salient in China. In the same year, the number of cross-cultural marriages swelled by 2. A tough market Despite its meteoric rise, online dating has experienced its share of confidence issues. The idea of trust is a big issue when using services that gather so much personal information. In August last year, police arrested people and shut dating apps associated with 21 companies involved in creating bots to interact with male users.
Reports later revealed the woman had blackmailed him for RMB 10 million. Netizens expressed outrage that fraudsters were still able to access sensitive online services like dating sites.
Even with the negative press, data shows the usage of these online platforms remained constant, while the use of traditional matchmaking services waned.