The Shanghai marriage market, visualized - SupChina
Free

We're a new type of news publication

China news you won't read elsewhere.

Weekly Newsletter

Get a roundup of the most important and interesting stories coming out of China.

Podcasts

Sinica, TechBuzz China, and our 6 other shows are the undisputed champs of China podcasts. Listen now.

Feature Articles

Interactive, web-based deep dives into the real China.

Premium

Join the thousands of executives, diplomats, and journalists that rely on SupChina for daily analysis of the full China story.

Daily Newsletter

All the news, every day. Premium analysis directly from our Editor-in-Chief Jeremy Goldkorn.

24/7 Slack Community

Have China-related questions and want answers? Our Slack community is a place to learn, network, and opine.

Free Live Events & More

Monthly live conference calls with leading experts, free entry to SupChina live events in cities around the world, and more.

"A jewel in the crown of China reporting. I go to it, look for it daily. Why? It adds so much insight into the real China. Essential news, culture, color. I find SupChina superior."
— Max Baucus, former U.S. Ambassador to China

Free

We're a new type of news publication

China news you won't read elsewhere.

Weekly Newsletter

Get a roundup of the most important and interesting stories coming out of China.

Podcasts

Sinica, TechBuzz China, and our 6 other shows are the undisputed champs of China podcasts. Listen now.

Feature Articles

Interactive, web-based deep dives into the real China.

OR… for more in-depth analysis and an online community of China-focused professionals:

Learn About Premium Access Now!
Learn More
Minimize
Learn More
Minimize

The Shanghai marriage market, visualized

If you ever get a chance to wander through Shanghai’s marriage market in the park at People’s Square, you might be amazed by how dating can be reduced to what CNN aptly called “Match.com meets farmers’ market,” where worried parents put up advertisements of their children, hoping to set their kids up on a blind date.

But if you aren’t lucky enough to check it out in person, The Paper has published a data visualization that shows the dating pool in great detail.

Based on 874 ads collected over six weeks, The Paper found that women account for about 70 percent of the entire pool. In terms of age, the report shows that male candidates are generally older than their female counterparts, echoing a 2010 analysis by Remin University of China, which suggests that in Chinese marriages, husbands are on average 2.7 years older than their partners.

In some depressing yet not surprising news for women, the project also showed that when stating qualifications for potential dates, men overwhelmingly prefer younger women, especially those who were born in the 1980s. In contrast, women like to be with someone their own age.

And if you think the people in this marriage market are there out desperation, the report is here to prove you wrong. A majority hold a college degree, and about 40 percent of the participants come from a family where at least one parent has a respectable occupation, e.g., teacher, doctor, government official.

To understand what these people are looking for in their future partners and how they sell themselves, the reporters also analyzed what’s emphasized and downplayed in the ads. They found that in addition to essential personal information such as gender, age, height, job, and education, the location of one’s household registration (hukou) and home ownership are significant factors.

Interestingly, only 9 percent of the ads mention a person’s hobbies. “No smoking, drinking, or any bad habits” is a frequently occurring line. These results contradict Tencent’s findings in a 2016 dating survey, in which respondents said that “mutual interests and similar beliefs” are key. “Apparently the marriage market doesn’t have room for people to connect on a non-material level,” the report concludes.

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.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.