Rapid growth of online dating services

While the mean age of marriage is rising, marriage is still nearly universal among the Chinese.

More than 99% of women between the ages of 35 and 39 in mainland China have been married at least once, according to a study by Gavin W. The traditional emphasis on finding a partner with a similar educational pedigree and economic standing is still followed in the digital world.

Because this policy did not have the desired result, in 1979 the government enacted the One-child Policy, which restricted parents to one child, in some cases offering incentives to ensure compliance.

China quickly felt the impact of this series of population-control measures.

While urbanization opens up economic opportunities for these individuals, it simultaneously closes social outlets, making online dating networks increasingly important in the search for a potential partner.

Welcome to the People’s Park “marriage market,” where thousands of adults — mostly aging parents — come daily to scan the sea of personal ads, meet with matchmakers and chat up other parents eager to find a partner for their overworked, unwed children.

As of the 2005 census, there was a staggering gender gap of approximately 32 million more males than females under age 20.

Because of this gender gap, the first level of pressure comes from the fact that there are simply not enough women available for all of the men.

That is not to say that online dating has changed the values and criteria of Chinese singles completely.

On the contrary, the primary players in this space — Jiayuan, Zhenai and Baihe — advertise themselves explicitly as marriage websites focused on helping singles find their future life partner.

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