Planet China

The 300

At its core, Xi Jinping’s ‘One Belt, One Road’ plan is aimed at rekindling trade along the ancient Silk Road. One of the indirect outcomes could be more marriages between Chinese women and Middle Eastern men (see WiC316).

This month nearly 300 women took part in a competition organised by a dating firm from Sichuan’s Chengdu city, where the ultimate prize was a chance to marry a billionaire bachelor in Dubai. According to Oriental Daily News, the organisers shortlisted 280 women from at least 2,000 applicants. Ladies of 35 years or younger were eligible to participate, with entries from school teachers, yoga coaches and even beauty pageant winners.

The aspiring brides then had to go through four selection rounds, including an appearance assessment in which only those with a “golden ratio” could advance, as well as a series of interviews on their romantic histories. The final hurdle – internet addicts take note – involved due diligence on the women’s activity on social media. The organiser says 12 ladies have qualified and that it will run similar open competitions in other Chinese cities, with a view to bringing 50 winners to the United Arab Emirates in June to meet with bachelors in Dubai worth at least Rmb50 million ($7.7 million). The girls in this Chinese harem may be less interested in meeting Mr Right than Mr Rich.

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