Social Issues

At Shanghai’s Marriage Market, elders seek perfect match for their children

The Shanghai Marriage Market is the largest and most famous in China. Every Saturday and Sunday, parents of unmarried adults gather in People’s Park to share information about their children in the hopes of finding them a partner.

They post signs and photos with information about their children, along with requirements. Standard introduction details include age, Chinese zodiac sign, height, education, job, income, material possessions and personality. Requirements vary, but can include minimum salary, as well as ownership of a house and a car.

In the park, Mr Chen was trying to find someone for his son.

“Men’s standards have changed. Now it’s important for women to have a decent career but also to be willing to have a family,” he said.

Mrs Lu said her daughter, who turns 30 this year, is well-educated with a master’s degree from the United States.

“She worked there for three years, now she has come back to Shanghai and works at an international company,” she said. “I want to help her not to waste more time on unsuitable men. She needs a stable and responsible man.”

Mrs Lu said it was the elders’ job to make first contact with a potential match.

“The rest is up to the children.”

A visual story by Alex Plavevski.

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