Rising number of single men is concerning, state media says

Society & Culture

Top society and culture news for February 13, 2017. Part of the daily SupChina news roundup "Ripples spread after billionaire vanishes in Hong Kong."

Couple in love holding hands together on table in restaurant, close up

  • 30 million Chinese men to be wifeless over the next 30 years / China Daily
    A professor of population studies at Renmin University estimates that there are 30 million men who will be at marriageable age over the next 30 years but unable to find a spouse. Data released by the National Bureau of Statistics indicates that by the end of 2015, the male population totaled around 704 million, while the female population was just 670 million. The surplus of men is mainly attributed to Chinese people’s deeply rooted gender preference for boys over girls and the development of ultrasound technology that enables parents to determine the gender of unborn babies, which sometimes leads to sex-selective abortion. In reaction to a People’s Daily article (in Chinese) on the topic, Internet users showed limited sympathy for the potential “bare branches” (bachelors unable to find wives) described in the article, with one comment (in Chinese) saying, “Over the years I have seen little coverage of those female babies who were killed before their birth, and now the state media is worrying for those single men who are unable to get married. How ironic it is!”
  • Once poverty-stricken, China’s ‘Taobao villages’ have found a lifeline making trinkets for the internet / Quartz
    Located in a remote part of eastern China’s Shandong Province, Daiji township is a collection of villages that has freed itself from extreme poverty and become one of the country’s leading hubs for selling dance and stage costumes. In 2016, Daiji sold a total of 1.8 billion yuan worth of costumes on Alibaba-owned Taobao, the nation’s largest ecommerce platform. Under a national policy to rebuild rural China and eliminate poverty, many “Taobao villages” like Daiji have sprung up across the nation, selling more than 10 million yuan worth of goods per year. Alibaba, in a joint effort with the central government to regenerate the country’s rural economy, has developed four programs devoted to helping rural residents use its platforms.