Need a Matchmaker, go to Shanghai…and Bring your Parents!

By: Ja’Nel Edens, MBA Candidate 2018 

Think you’re the only one having a hard time finding a date? Well you’re not alone. Your typical first world, work-life-balance conundrum is no stranger to the East, particularly in Shanghai.

Every weekend, parents from all over the city come to People’s Square to shop for a mate for their single adult child. Desperate and frustrated with single children not married by their 30s and 40s, parents literally go to market in the center of the city to find prospective son and daughter in-laws. Mostly moms gather together in a line with picture posters placed on umbrellas which include details on their child’s age, occupation, education and picture. It’s a parent to parent event where some wait in line for hours just to talk to each other. There’s also an international section which lists where students are studying abroad, an even more attractive attribute for parents thinking of the perfect spouse for their grownup children.

As China develops, people are working more and staying in the office longer hours. It’s getting harder to meet new people outside of the workplace and finding time to date. There is also a gender gap as there are more men than women in Shanghai, giving women more options to choose from. This trend is growing in the big cities and the demand for matchmaking services is on the rise in Shanghai. Every year there’s a dating event where more than 10,000 singles come together in hope of finding their special one.

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