Surveys: 60 percent of Chinese men cheat on partners, domestic violence cited in 15 percent of divorce cases | Society News | SupChina

Surveys: 60 percent of Chinese men cheat on partners, domestic violence cited in 15 percent of divorce cases

More than 70 percent of Chinese divorce cases in the past two years were filed by women, and most of those couples split three years into their marriages, a new report (in Chinese) by the Supreme People’s Court revealed. The report, released on March 23, analyzes divorce statistics in 2016 and 2017 and finds that over 75 percent of couples cited incompatibility in their relationships as the primary reason for divorce. The next most common problem was domestic violence, which accounts for roughly 15 percent.

Of that 15 percent who cited domestic violence, more than 90 percent of victims were women. The violence mentioned includes both physical abuse and verbal assaults. Guangdong had the most divorce cases triggered by domestic violence, closely followed by Guizhou and Guangxi. These statistics echo a previous report by the All-China Women’s Federation in 2015, which found that about 30 percent of 270 million Chinese marriages had problems of domestic violence and abuse.

Though the report doesn’t specify the cause of the divorced couples’ incompatibility, some clues can be found in another survey (in Chinese) conducted by Tencent News in 2016. Based on replies from nearly 70,000 internet users, the survey discovered that about 60 percent of male respondents had cheated on their partners in a relationship, while the rate among female respondents was 38.1 percent.

Also in the Tencent survey: Men seem more likely to have affairs with complete strangers during business trips or in places of entertainment, whereas women tend to have romantic relationships with their friends when they are having disputes with their spouses.

Some other interesting facts from the Tencent survey:

  • One-third of male respondents don’t regard sex with prostitutes as cheating.
  • The higher a person’s salary, the more likely they are to cheat on their partners.
  • Young people are more likely to have affairs with someone they meet online compared with older generations.
  • Over 60 percent of people born after 1980 say they would not admit to having an affair even if exposed.
Jiayun Feng

Jiayun was born in Shanghai, where she spent her first 20 years and earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism at Fudan University. Interested in writing for a global audience, she attended the NYU Graduate School of Journalism for its Global & Joint Program Studies, which allowed her to pursue a journalism career along with her interest in international relations. She has previously interned for Sixth Tone and Shanghai Daily.


  1. Tait Reply

    Wait, so how does the survey count cheating?
    If 60% say they cheat and 1/3 say they don’t see sex with prostitutes as cheating, does that mean 93% actually cheat?

  2. Karl Reply

    As someone who has lived in China a while now…

    60% seems WAY to low. Like the above poster wrote, I think 90-05% is a more reasonable number.

    I’d really like to see more articles like this.

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