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The marriage dilemma in China


The marriage dilemma in China

China is facing what’s being called the “Fourth Wave of Singledom”, brought on by economic development and the increased independence of the country’s women. This video takes a look at marriage pressure; the causes, the ways in which it manifests itself and the consequences as China's young generation attempt to escape the obligation to tie the knot and have to deal with the expectations of their parents.

Rediscovering China is a weekly show on CGTN that offers a unique insight into an aspect of life in China today. With its unrivaled access to the country's people and places, Rediscovering China brings you in-depth reports on the major issues facing China at a time of rapid change.

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Female and over 30? China’s dating market may not want you

A 34-year-old Chinese woman conducted a social experiment to gauge attitudes to women’s age in China’s dating market. Wearing a hidden camera, she recorded prospective in-laws’ reactions when she revealed she was over 30.

One parent compared dating to the property market and told her: “You're a great house. But the thing is, it's in the countryside.”

China's Leftover Men: Desperately Seeking Wives

He's 57 and has never been in a relationship. Now he's worried that his four nephews who live with him might end up alone - and desperate - just like him. How is China addressing its gender imbalance that has reached epic proportions?


ALSO WATCH: Kidnapped Brides: The Vietnamese Women Sold As Wives In China


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China: Young single women want children without marriage | World Stories

China may have loosened its one-child policy, but the country's family-planning agency still requires that prospective parents get permission to have children. Only married couples can access the national sperm bank, but many single women want to have children without getting married. These women go against the state and against their parents' traditional ideas of marriage and family. One young woman is calling for the law to be changed to allow single women the chance to have children.
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China Doesn't Like That I'm a Single Woman, Here's Why | Op-Docs

“Sheng nu” (“leftover women”) is a term used to describe single women who are 27 or older in China. Most of these women live in cities and lead rewarding professional lives. The term was coined in 2007 by a government organization responsible for the protection and promotion of women’s rights and policies. That same year, the Ministry of Education added “sheng nu” to the official lexicon.

In this Op-Doc, based on the Independent Lens feature documentary “Leftover Women,” we follow one of those women — Qiu Huamei, contending with the stigma and social pressure forcing her to go on a grueling quest in search of a husband. She grew up in a small village five hours south of Beijing and is the second youngest of five sisters. Ms. Qiu is a successful lawyer, fluent in English and opinionated — but those qualities do not outweigh one key flaw: She is not married.

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Why people aren't getting married in Japan

The institution of marriage has suffered a decline across the world but it is in the ageing societies of Asia where it's got governments and families are most worried. Channel NewsAsia's Wei Du travelled to Japan to find out why people are finding it hard to tie the knot there.

More Chinese men marrying foreign women in Shanghai

Shanghai, where the number of residents marrying foreigners hasn't changed much over the past decade, but the couples themselves are changing. That's because a growing number of Chinese men are finding spouses from overseas, something that was once almost exclusive to women.

Interracial marriages on the rise in China

More than a million Chinese migrants now work and live on the African continent, while the number of Africans in China is thought to be around half that.

It’s a relationship that is not restricted just to trade.

Interracial marriages between Chinese and Africans are on the rise - from China's increasing investment in and trade with Africa has come an increase in migrants from Africa.

Al Jazeera's Adrian Brown reports from Liaoning, northeast China.

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How 'Leftover' Women In China Are Changing Its Culture

Roseann Lake, author of 'Leftover in China', discusses how women who aren't married by 25 are reshaping China's traditional culture.


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China's dating problem

An increasing number of young Chinese people say they're having difficulty finding someone to marry.
It's a situation made worse by the population control policy, of one child per family.
Now specialised dating agencies have sprung up - catering to lonely hearts aged in their thirties or beyond.

China's Female Millionaires are in a Matchmaking Frenzy

Looking For Love: Despite China's massive gender gap, successful women in China struggle to get a date. A complex cocktail of cultural hangups has left a generation of men and women without partners and it's getting worse.

For similar stories, see:
The Dating Game - China

Romance China Style - China

Where Did A Million Chinese Millionaires Come From

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Marrying the right man is our biggest dream, one young Chinese girl's song goes. But while the cars and houses are coming easily to China's successful women, marrying their dream man isn't. Despite a gender gap of 118 men for every 100 women, China's conservative dictum is that a woman should not be too independent and that over 28 she's labelled 'leftover'. It means that most successful women struggle to get a date and with a third of China's millionaires now female an increasing number of China's women are prioritising their work life. The result is 200 million singles in China and it keeps growing..., as Johnny Du, the CEO of one of China's top internet dating sites, explains. According to Johnny Du the women also set the bar too high. Woman are really picky; they want the man to be very rich, young, handsome, educated.... Some parents have become so desperate they are taking details of their single children around marriage markets. As the ambitions of the West meet the traditions of the East, it's a dangerous cultural hang-up that's causing a social time-bomb.

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China's Fake Boyfriends | Witness

Having recently turned 27, Li Chenxi has reached the age at which unmarried women in China are labelled 'sheng nu' or 'leftover women'.

It's a stigma that carries deep ramifications within her social life, workplace and especially among her family. But with a blossoming career in Beijing, Li Chenxi has no desire to get married.

As Chinese New Year looms she makes her annual journey home to face greater than ever expectations.

In search of a solution that staves off the marital pressures, Li Chenxi decides to commit the ultimate deception: She hires a handsome boyfriend in Beijing to take home to meet her family and friends.

What could possibly go wrong?
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How Chinese marriage markets help parents find a love match for their child - BBC

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Reggie finishes his time in Chengdu with a visit to the marriage market in People’s Park, one of many such gatherings that across the country that now exist for parents to 'advertise' their sons and daughters as future marriage material. This phenomenon has become increasingly prevalent in the wake of the one-child policy and the preference for sons, which has now left China with an estimated 34 million more men than women.

Reggie in China | Episode 3 | BBC

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How Difficult Is It To Get Married In China? | ASIAN BOSS

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Love in modern China: The matchmaker of Beijing

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In the past 40 years, Zhu Fang says he’s brought 1,650 couples together, it’s made him one of Beijing’s most popular matchmakers. But time is changing, the young generation’s attitudes about relationships and marriage made him confused.

Young & Restless: China's Graduate Dilemma

China will be producing 6.3 million graduates this year. Figures from 2009 indicate 13% of last years 6.1 million graduates were unable to find a job. That's 793,000 graduates without a job.

We take a look at the harsh reality of fresh graduates hunting for jobs in Beijing and the rising standard of living in China's growing metropolitan city.

China's bachelor dilemma

Thu, May 2: Millions of Chinese men will never know the joys of matrimony. After decades of China's one-child policy and the selection abortion of girls, there's a surplus of males in the country. Paul Johnson explains. For more info, please go to

Looking China: Age, height, education - looking for love in Shanghai

On a sunny weekend in People’s Park in Shanghai, parents gather to arrange potential dates for their children.

By interviewing professional matchmakers and parents at what is perhaps Shanghai’s biggest dating market, this short film reveals how age, height and education provide an insight into the importance of a good marriage in Chinese society.

Looking China is a short film series made by a group of young film directors from over 20 countries. They traveled to various places across China, making films and exploring Chinese culture with the help of students from local universities.

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The challenges of finding love in China

A country of 1.3 billion people means a lot of possibilities, and a lot of competition. Seth Doane reports on the many ways the Chinese go searching for love - from dating apps and parents aggressively promoting their sons or daughters, to the professional love hunters who scour shopping malls for eligible matches for their clients.

China- Leftover men

The growing number of older single men in China is NOT just an outcome of a gender imbalance caused by families favouring boys over girls in the one-child policy. Experts say it's also a reflection of a deeper social problem as a result of Chinese society's obsession with status and success. Channel NewsAsia's Valerie Tan has the report.



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