The mainland is reported to have roughly 180 million single people aged between 18 and 35. Revenue from the online dating market topped 1.2 billion yuan (HK$1.5 billion) and is forecast to reach two billion yuan by 2014.
November 11th is the Singles’ Day in China. People from many different areas across China hold all kinds of events to celebrate this day. This Singles’ Day 2013, many online shopping sites in China were busy with promotions. The largest online shopping website Taobao is reported to sell out more than 35,000,000,000 RMB in a single day. In Dongguan, a large matchmaking party was held on November 10, 2013, attracting more than 1,000 participants, including over 100 singles from Hong Kong.
More than 70 percent of Hong Kong women who attend matchmaking events in the Chinese mainland range in age from 25 to 35. Many have parents who are worried about their daughters’ marriage prospects and encourage them to turn to mainland matchmaking events despite their relatively young age.
Hong Kong has seen an increase in single women and late marriages during the past 30 years. The number of Hong Kong women looking for potential spouses in the Chinese mainland has increased 16 percent year on year, with a record high of more than 6,700 in 2012.
Many of the women are attracted to mainland matchmaking events because unlike the ones in Hong Kong, which tend to focus on only one activity such as having afternoon tea, the mainland events are often held in spacious venues with many different activities on offer.
“The mainland men I’ve met have left a good impression on me. They are better educated than Hong Kong men of the same age and they also show more consideration for women,” said Guo Yingying, a 24-year-old who graduated from the Hong Kong Polytechnic University and worked in Shanghai for a year.
Although she has returned to start a business in Hong Kong, Guo is determined to marry a mainland man.
“I know a lot of Hong Kong women who are married to mainland men. Many of these couples live apart and only see each other on the weekends, but they seem to be very happy,” said Guo. “As long as a woman is economically independent and has her own social life, I think living apart won’t affect the quality of her marriage.”
According to the Census and Statistics Department of Hong Kong, the number of single women has risen by 64.2 percent in Hong Kong during the past three decades. The average age of women’s first marriage was 23.9 in 1981 but jumped to 29 in 2012.
In the meantime, the average age of first-time mothers increased from 25.1 in 1981 to 30.5 in 2012, while the number of divorces soared from 2,000 in 1981 to 21,000 in 2012.