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.
These marriage markets are a logical extension of the traditional Chinese matchmaking culture, where family elders drive the screening for, and selection of, their child’s future mate.
At the same time, however, there is an entirely different market in operation, one where millions of exchanges happen daily, and the “shoppers” are the singles themselves.
Wandering into the main gate of People’s Park, a large public gathering space in the heart of Shanghai, one might think he or she has stumbled upon a bustling flea market.
Rows of colorful stalls line the walkways, which are crowded with old couples elbowing each other to examine the thousands of offerings.
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.
Rising Pressure for Both Sexes As a result of the one-child Policy, many families began to selectively abort female children in order to try to have boys, who are traditionally preferred due to the cultural expectation that men will help support the family and take care of their parents in old age. Bliney estimated that more than 1.5 million sex-selective abortions were carried out in China between 1983 and1990.
Both men and women are under growing pressure to find a partner in an increasingly difficult environment.
in production,” according to Princeton University’s professor Gregory Chow.
China’s population responded, so much so that in the 1970s the government implemented the two-child family plan in order to guard against overpopulation.
The decade-long, relatively steady fertility rate in the 1960s of about 5.7 births per woman declined on average 6.4% per year from 1970 to 1981, according to the World Bank.