And Finally

What women want

Or rather what Chinese white collar women want…

What women want

Me and my Mr Moderate

What women want. It is a question that few could hope to answer satisfactorily in 400 years, let alone 400 words.

But, according to a survey conducted in Hangzhou on International Women’s Day earlier this month, Chinese white collar women most wanted “boyfriends and husbands”.

And they are lowering their expectations. In better financial times, white collar women sought so-called ‘golden guys’, who had careers in areas like investment banking and earned more than Rmb500,000 per year. But according to a new survey by 55BBS – a discount shopping website – 60% of women now want a ‘moderate guy’ rather than the golden variety.

‘Moderate guy’ is “economically and behaviourally” modest and earns between Rmb3,000 ($438) and Rmb10,000 a month. The China Daily reports that a lady called Zhao justified her own decision to marry a man who earned less than half her salary by saying: “The modest guy and the golden guy are like tap water and soft drink. Tap water may not be as tasty as cola, but it quenches thirst and does not leave a saccharine aftertaste.”

The state-run newspaper has also taken a look at cross-cultural relationships, and in particular the matchmaking agencies that promise to introduce Chinese women to successful foreign men. It highlights the case of Liu Qian, who sold her minibus to pay a $3,500 fee to a marriage agency in Jilin, but then received no introductions in return.

When Liu complained, she was told that her looks were to blame, so she spent another Rmb10,000 on cosmetic surgery. Still no interest from prospective foreign suitors; and this time the agency said it must be down to the poor feng shui of Liu’s house.

But by now Liu was cottoning on and she discovered that she was one of a number of women being duped.

The China Daily says her experience was not unusual; the chairman of the Yiguanglian Group, which had matchmaking agencies in 20 cities, was sentenced to 10 years in prison late last year for fraud, for instance. It seems too that few agencies have a genuine roster of suitable foreign men on their books. The most unscrupulous ones have even been hiring imposters to stand in, many of whom “were without a steady income, and some were even alcoholics”.

Not what women want at all.

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