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“The higher the earning power of the man, the more likely he would [be to] ask to date a younger woman,” Li says.The more affordable “self-service” dating site is popular with those in their 20s, but he says there is a very definite trend that when women reach the age of 27 they opt for the more pricey matchmaking service.
China’s rising divorce rate is also driving business.
has conducted focus groups with divorcees and the findings suggest that the more economically well off women are, the less likely they are to put up with a husband they are not happy with.
“In terms of percentage, I think a lot more women in China work than women in the US.
One of Zhenai.com’s most in demand services is one that matches divorcees – it’s especially popular in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Shenzhen.
“It’s getting more popular every year and we are even thinking perhaps we should develop a separate app due to the high demand,” says Li.
offers two broad services: one is what Li calls a “self-service dating service” where members pay 400 yuan (US) a year to browse members’ profiles, chat and arrange dates; the other is a more exclusive offline, face-to-face matchmaking service that costs 4,000 yuan for six months.
The self-service platform allows members to send each other digital “winks”.“They want to know from the very beginning, before they waste time, whether the husband and wife will manage the finances collectively, whether she has to live with her in-laws and whether he wants children and how many,” Li says.The matchmakers get a minimal base salary and earn commission for every match, so it’s in their interest to make good matches and smooth out any dating hiccups.When it comes to dating, Chinese men are most interested in what women look like, while women want to know about a man’s income.The next consideration is a prospective partner’s profession: primary-school teachers and nurses are in high demand among men, while women favour men in IT or finance – areas men least want their partner to be working in., while last year it got a lot of coverage following the cosmetic firm SK-II’s emotional advert on the subject, which went viral. He points to what he calls the “80/20 principle” in the animal kingdom, where 20 per cent of the male species “owns” 80 per cent of the females, leaving 80 per cent of males mateless.