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    Guangdong Villages Seek Matchmakers’ Help to Marry Off Single Men

    A widening gender imbalance and soaring marriage costs have left many rural Chinese men unable to marry.
    Jan 24, 2024#family#marriage

    With more and more single Chinese men in rural areas, several villages in the southern Guangdong province have recently introduced rewards for matchmakers who help them find a partner.

    Local matchmakers, or hongniang, can receive up to 1,000 yuan ($139) from the village committee if they help a single man 30 years old or above get married, Lingtou Village in Wuchuan City announced on Saturday.

    Tiedong Village in Heyuan City and Qingfu Village in Maoming City have also introduced cash rewards of 600 yuan and 1,000 yuan respectively for their matchmakers.

    Li Xiaoguang, a Lingtou Village representative, told Southern Rural Daily that the rewards are open to anyone, including full-time matchmakers and dating platforms.

    According to Li, the village has around 2,000 permanent residents, including many single men over 30 years old. “In the past, there were dozens of weddings in the village every year, but the number has decreased in recent years,” said Li. “Last year, there were only about 10.”

    A village cadre surnamed Deng from Qingfu Village told domestic media outlet The Paper that there are around 400 to 500 single men aged between 30 and 40 years old in the village, among a total population of 10,000.

    The Qingfu Village committee declined Sixth Tone’s request for an interview.

    In Tiedong Village, around 240 of the 3,000 permanent residents are unmarried men between 20 and 40 years old, Huang Xiaoqiang, the village party secretary, told Southern Rural Daily.

    Marriage rates have fallen to historic lows in China in recent years. While longer work hours and time spent in education have been major factors in cities, in rural areas, a widening gender imbalance and the migration of women to urban areas have made it difficult for men to find partners.

    In 2020, there were 108 men for every 100 women in China’s rural areas, according to the National Bureau of Statistics. In Guangdong province, the sex ratio was 111.36.

    Many rural Chinese men with low wages are also being priced out of marriage, with grooms expected to pay for marital housing, matchmaker fees, the wedding ceremony, and a bride price, which has soared in rural China in recent years.

    Other rural villages around the country have also introduced rewards for matchmakers that help single men, including in the northwestern Shaanxi province and the central Henan province.

    Editor: Vincent Chow.

    (Header image: VCG)