“Aside from the internet playing a large part in dating, there have also been speed dating events appearing in major cities, and even a recent dating expo in Shanghai,” observes Sam Reeves, author of .
Such dating activities, although seemingly banal to many, offer a far more personal experience than parental matchmaking.
The trend has been more divergent than expected, with the ratio of males to females at birth rising from 116.9 boys per 100 girls in 2000 to 118.1 boys per 100 girls in 2011, according to China’s 2010 census.
The increasing gender gap has led some to speculate that Chinese women feel a new sense of empowerment when choosing potential partners, and consequently leading them to delay settling down with Chinese men.
“In fact, they are even slightly more likely than their male counterparts to get a higher education.” As only-children, or “singletons” as Fong describes them, Chinese youth feel now more than ever the full weight of their family’s expectations in a filial and family-oriented community.
“These single children are their parent’s only hope financially and emotionally so the children experience a sense of shame if they fail,” Fong explains.
Interracial dating, while not without a certain stigma in Chinese society, is on the rise.