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No time for love in a changing China

by Dewayne Newcombe (2019-06-16)


SHANGHAI, China -- In public parks across China, people are looking for love. But not for themselves.

"My daughter is too busy," one mother in the sprawling city of Shanghai told CBS News correspondent Seth Doane.

Moms, dads -- even grandparents -- come as self-appointed matchmakers. They bear signs spelling-out their kid's desires: "a man... who makes more than $600 a month" and has "no bad habits."

Most of the park matchmakers didn't want to talk with Doane, and asked him to turn off the camera. Many told us their kids were completely unaware that they were out spouse-hunting on their behalf.

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There are nearly 250-million single adults in China, and that's upset the traditional family-centered culture.

In recent years, building a successful career has taken priority over marriage.

Twenty-seven year old Berry Huang's mother got so frustrated that she urged her to become a contestant on a dating show.

"People will talk. They say, 'okay, look at her; she's 30, she don't have any boyfriend. She's not getting married - how sad.'"

Huang works 12 hours a day for an executive recruiting firm in Shanghai.

"People here have a lot of desires," she told Doane. "They want a bigger apartment, they want a car... so everybody has to work very hard."

That leaves precious little time for dating.

Huang should have her pick; there are 20-million more single men than women in China. But she says most aren't what she would consider marriage material.

At a mass-dating event in Shanghai, many of the 30,000 singles in attendance seemed more focused on texting or snacking than finding a mate.

"We're not only providing a dating service," said event organizer Hans Liu, "we also give them a lot of coaching."

He said the rising cost of living in China often leaves singles with few choices.

"Having a house is a basic element in marriage," said Liu, explaining that many women are looking for a man who already owns a home. But in cities like Shanghai or Beijing, 남원출장안마 and with China's middle class burgeoning at record pace in the last decade, that can be a pretty difficult goal to attain.

Berry Huang isn't waiting for any man. She has a roommate, and she rents.

"If I can find a soul mate and it goes well and if we get married, the ending is 'happy ever after' -- that will be really great but, you know, life is not a fairytale," she told Doane.

Huang met a friend for dinner that night. Their conversation: her friend's upcoming wedding.