China has come a long way in the last few decades, embracing all the best parts of capitalism but still maintaining its socialist roots. In fact, China now seems to “do” capitalism better than most Western countries.
It still operates behind a Bamboo Curtain of sorts – the state controls the media and that includes internet access.
Economic development means that the demographic of China has shifted quite a bit. There's now a huge gender imbalance in the country, with far more single men than single women.
But there's also been a shift in wealth distribution, and you can see this more in the middle classes than ever before.
What does this have to do with finding Chinese “mail order brides”?
Understanding the modern dating scene in China is the key to finding your future Chinese bride. After all, how can you possibly compete when you don't understand the rules of the game?
The Chinese Gender Imbalance
There are roughly 115 Chinese men to every 100 Chinese women. This might sound like bad news for single Western guys but it's not. Yes, there is a shortage of single and eligible Chinese women…but not in the way you might think.
The skewed ratio of single men to single women was caused by China's “1 child” policy and the fact that male children were favored over female children for economic reasons. So, now decades later there are tens of millions of single Chinese guys with no women to date.
A lack of available women is now forcing Chinese men to look overseas for a “foreign bride”, but that's mostly in South East Asian (SEA) countries.
There are other reasons for this, and we'll cover these in the next section.
What Price Love – Cost To Marry a Chinese Women?
The romantics out there will think “But there's no price you can put on love.”
Well…there is in China and it's in the region of US$30,000. You see, when you get married in China you have to pay something called the “Bride Price” to the bride's family. This is basically the same as a dowry, but it's not a small amount of money.
In fact, the average “bride price” that must now be paid is in the region of 200,000 Yuan, or about US$30,000.
This means that as a Chinese guy you'll find yourself struggling to earn as much money as you can as quickly as you can, or you'll have to look to other South East Asian countries for a wife.
That might sound bad, but the guy also has to own an apartment before they'll even accept the “bride price”, and with property prices in China now on a par with London and New York it means the average Chinese guy hasn't got a hope of being able to afford to get married.
The required cash is beyond the means of all but the wealthiest guys.
How does this work in your favor? Because most Chinese guys can't raise that kind of cash unless they're of the wealthy variety, and most rich guys have marriages arranged through family connections.
Wealthy families in China tend to want their daughter's married to other wealthy families.
So that means there are lots of Chinese women who want to get married but can't find a man who can afford to do that, at least not by current Chinese standards.
What does it cost to marry a Chinese woman? (excluding wedding)
|Dating Site||$100 per month x 6 months||$600|
|Flights||$900 per flight x 4 flights||$3600|
|Romance Tour (optional)||$3,000 (minimum)||$3,000|
|Hotels/Apartment||$90 per night x 28 days (2 x 14 day trips)||$2,520|
|Visa Costs||$1,700 (K1+ permanent residency)||$1,700|
The Pressure To Find A Man
Despite all of the above facts, Chinese women are still under intense pressure to find a boyfriend, establish a relationship, and take the next step towards marriage.
It's gotten so bad that some of them even go as far as hiring a fake boyfriend to present to their family and friends, typically during the Lunar New Year celebration.
Although her parents will have a preference for a Chinese husband, mixed marriages (it's the Chinese slang – don't hate on us) are now becoming more and more common in China.
The idea of finding a foreign husband also appeals to the majority of Chinese women because her home country is a patriarchal society, where the men expect to be lord and master of the family unit. Even modern Chinese girls are expected to follow the “Three Obediences”:
- Obey your father before marriage
- Obey your husband when married
- Obey your sons when you're a widow
So, even if a girl can find a Chinese guy to marry she's still expected to behave like a pre-suffrage woman. It can be so bad that certain Chinese men will sleep around and cheat on their wives because they see it as their “right.”
Not a great deal for her, is it?
No Chinese Girl Wants To Be Sheng Nu
But that's not where it ends for the average Chinese girl, because if she can't find a husband by the time she's 28 then she's considered “leftover”, or “sheng nu“. A spinster, forever condemned to a life of being alone.
That's pretty much the exact opposite to what's happening in the West where women are waiting until their late 30s or early 40s to get married and have kids.
Having a girlfriend in her late 20s is pretty much an ideal outcome for most European and North American men, so single Chinese girls in their late 20s and early 30s is an “untapped market”, no pun intended.
Single Chinese women with kids are considered to be pretty much untouchable by Chinese guys. Again, this is the mirror opposite of what happens in the West where most guys look at raising step kids as just being part and parcel of being in a relationship.
So, single Chinese mothers are usually more than happy to date Western guys, or what the locals refer to as “laowai”. It's a bit like being gaijin in Japanese culture.
All of the above makes Western men flat-out a better match for Chinese women who want to enjoy a more affordable standard of living, and more equality.
Your Chinese girlfriend does not enjoy the same level of educational and professional opportunities that are taken for granted by so many Western women.
So, it's not just the poorer girls actively looking for a foreign husband – many of the college and university educated professional women are too. Because, no matter what, no Chinese girl wants to become sheng nu.
What Are Chinese Girls Really Like?
We're pretty sure you've done at least some research before arriving on our site, but still want somebody to confirm what you've heard about Chinese women is true.
Well, your eyes don't lie. So, yes, the majority of Chinese women are petite, slim, reserved and have an inherent beauty that comes naturally to them. Does every single Chinese girl have stunning looks?
Nope, but their genetic predispositions, healthy diet and active lifestyles mean that the majority of them look, act and think as you'd expect.
Are they submissive? Some of the poorer girls are, but modern Chinese women are well-educated and will suffer fools lightly. So, unless you’ve somehow traveled here in a time machine from the 1950s, this shouldn’t be something that concerns you.
While women in China have the same reserved, coy nature as most other Asian women, they're also far more accustomed to a Western outlook on life. That's because they prize education in a way that's not seen in the West, and they're also ambitious and driven to make the most of their professional and personal lives.
In terms of their personality they are, generally speaking, patient, caring, inquisitive and bright. Remember that China is still somewhat isolated from the outside world, so they're eager to learn as much as they can about where you're from, what you do, and what life is like there.
Their physical appearance is also what you'd expect, plus they have a natural sense of style. So you'll never find your Chinese girlfriend ready to leave the house in a pair of sweat pants and Ugg boots.
Never. Gonna. Happen.
That being said, Chinese girls tend to look amazing no matter what they wear. Not only that but have you noticed that they seem to age very slowly and very gracefully? Dating and marrying a Chinese girl is a win-win for you and for her.
Their Emotional Traits
If you were to take some of what you read on other websites to heart, you could be made to believe that most Chinese women are cold and uncaring. That's like believing that all Western women are lazy and unproductive – sure a growing number of them are, but you can't say “all” because it's not true.
What's interpreted as “cold” is nothing more than caution. Even the Chinese girls who've managed to travel the world are still unlikely to throw themselves into your arms in public. It's just not how things are done there.
Chinese women are just as warm, loving and caring once they meet the right man. The stories of “cold fish” are when they've been shoe-horned into some kind of arranged marriage, and were unhappy from the outset.
In addition to their love you'll also get a woman who is fiercely loyal to her family, and in a way that might surprise you. Once you're married she'll be willing to do pretty much anything to ensure the success of your family, including making sure that your kids get the best education possible.
That habit has earned a lot of Chinese wives the title of “Dragon Mother”, but it's actually a compliment. After all, how many Western women can you say are driven to help make their own families the best they can be?
Who knows, but it's not the majority of them.
So, at this stage you understand the rules of the Chinese “dating game”, and what to expect from a Chinese woman. But are there any things you need to watch out for?
Absolutely, and here are the top three “Danger, Will Robinson!” moments for any guy dating a Chinese girl:
She will not, under any circumstances, introduce you to her friends or any part of her social circle. It won't matter if you ask politely, or put your foot down and demand it – she'll probably start crying and project blame back onto you. That would stink to high hell with any North American or European girl, because you know then that she's hiding something.
The exact same is true of your Chinese girlfriend, and she's probably hiding a boyfriend or husband she doesn't want you to know about.
She starts talking about marriage during your first Skype chat, and never misses and opportunity to discuss it with you every time after that. Genuine Chinese women never do this casually – not until your relationship is at the stage of being considered serious. This type of behavior is pretty much a guarantee that she sees you as nothing more than a fat wallet with an American or European visa attached to it.
She wants to introduce you to her family straight away. Nope. Nope. Nope. Run away. This is just not the “done thing” in China.
She respects and obeys her mother in a way you'll probably never understand. But that also means many of “her” relationship choices will be based on advice given to her by her mother.
As the saying there goes, “…the girl might not be a gold digger, but the majority of Chinese mothers are”. They want financial security for their daughters, and they're willing to do whatever it takes to achieve that goal. And that's kinda understandable, within reason.
The problem for you is if her mother decides that her daughter can do better, and if that means trying to replace you with a wealthier Chinese guy, then that's exactly what she'll do.
Although Chinese girls obey their mothers, that doesn't mean they like it. In fact, your fiancée will be more than happy to get her visa, say her goodbyes to her family, and start hew new mother-free life in North America, Europe or Australia with you.
Imagine how frustrating it is to not only live in a patriarchal society but to also be almost entirely dominated by your mother's wishes and dreams for you?
How To Find Your Future Chinese Mail Order Bride
Online dating is becoming very popular in China, with several popular dating sites and apps doing the rounds. The dating website Jiayuan has about 120 million users, and it's next nearest rival Baihe has about 80 million users.
Yes, we did just say that a single Chinese dating website has 120 million users. Remember there are almost 1.4 billion people living in China – we weren't kidding when we said there were millions of single Chinese women looking for love.
The sites themselves cost anywhere from $10 to $120 per month, depending on the type of account you have and how much visibility you want. Prices like this almost always come as a shock to Western guys because they expect things in China to be way cheaper.
While that might have been true 20 years ago, the economy in China is booming right now, and market prices reflect that.
Dating/romance tours are also a popular option for meeting Chinese women, but prices vary wildly depending on what agency you use.
We've seen agencies charge $7,000 for a 6-day tour, including flights, while other agencies charge as little as $3,000 for a 12-day dating tour, with that price also inclusive of flights.
It's also worth bearing in mind that certain agencies use “matchmaking fees” as a way of making extra cash from you. This happens when you're introduced to a cute Chinese girl you want to get to know better. That's fine…until you find out that you'll owe them another US$10,000 if you wind up marrying her.
Never sign any romance tour agreement or contract without reading the fine print, and with the help of a translator.
One way of combining work and pleasure would be to relocate to one of the bigger cities in China for several months. If you're lucky enough to work for a start-up they might love the idea of your working remotely, whereas the more established employers will hate it.
The only reason we bring this is up is because China is vast, so the odds of you coming over as a tourist and accidentally finding the woman of your dreams are almost zero.
6 Tips To Make The Most Of Your Chinese Dating Experience
- Don't try to compete financially. Wealthier Chinese families in tier-1 cities (Shanghai, Beijing, etc.) possess a level of wealth you can't compete with. The same applies to the wealthier Chinese guys who spend most of their time and money on material wealth and then showing it off to anyone willing to pay attention.
- Be charming and use humor to your advantage. Remember that Chinese guys think that possessing a number of status symbols is enough to find the woman of their dreams i.e. gold diggers who don't mind being treated badly as long as the guy is rich.
- Do some lateral thinking here – look at women who are considered to be sheng nu in China, but who would still rank in the top 95% of single women in the United States. They're young, loyal, educated, sensual, and looking for a husband. Plus it won't faze her if he happens to be a decade older than her.
- Chinese women are usually from 1-child families, so they can be guilty of “acting out” at times. Don't take this personally – she has no idea what it's like to have siblings.
- Show her that you love and respect your own family, because she'll have a hard time understanding why you don't. Family is extremely important to Chinese women, so if you don't have a great relationship with your parents or siblings don't bring it up in conversation until she gets to know you for who you are.
- Take an interest in her likes and dislikes, her hobbies and her dreams. Most Chinese guys don't invest any time in doing this, so you'll be a breath of fresh air to her.
Getting Married in China
The first thing you need to know about a Chinese marriage license is that it will not be recognized by the Customs, immigration control or border control agencies of any Western country.
It's not a legally binding document in your home country, so it does not give your Chinese bride an automatic right to residency, and certainly not for citizenship. The same is true however in China in that marrying a Chinese girl does not give you the automatic right to permanent residency in the country.
You will need both a Certificate of Marriageability and a Certificate of Marriage to be considered legally married in China. Getting approval for both of these documents can be time consuming and expensive because of the multiple layers of bureaucracy that exist around this process.
The Chinese government, to a certain extent, makes it somewhat difficult for Western guys to marry Chinese women. Apparently this has a lot to do with the belief that all Western men are spies of one kind or another.
You must also be absolutely certain that your fiancée is at least 20 years of age. She must get parental permission to marry you if she's between the ages of 18 and 20.
Your girlfriend must also obviously be a citizen or permanent resident of China to apply for a marriage license in the country.
The dating scene in China is one that requires a little more planning to be successful in, but it's more than worth the challenge. There are literally millions of young Chinese women looking for a foreign husband, and just as many sheng nu who are more than happy to marry the right laowai guy.
Be honest here, how good would it be to wake up next to the same beautiful Chinese woman every morning, a woman who actually values you as much as you value her?