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Its emphasis on finding partners for men was a testament to China’s unbalanced sex ratio, caused by a combination of China’s One Child Policy and advances in ultrasound technology in the 1980s that allowed pregnant women to abort millions of baby girls. Male candidates introduced themselves and their family’s background, listed their criteria for a spouse and answered a few questions from the host.It was essentially a singles ad broadcast before audience members, who, if interested, could contact the candidate for a date.In many ways, dating shows became a powerful way to facilitate these changes.By looking at the development of Chinese television dating shows, we can see how love and marriage changed from a ritualized system mired in the past to the liberated, Western-style version we see today.Despite all the limitations, the show was a groundbreaking depiction of courtship.
Today, it’s not uncommon to see commercial products and brands being hawked on various dating programs or hear hosts casually mention sponsors during an episode.
Marriage matchmaking has always been an important cultural practice in China.
For generations, marriage was arranged by parents who followed the principle of “matching doors and windows,” which meant that people needed to marry those of similar social and economic standing.
Marriage was viewed as a contract between two households, and it was for the purpose of procreation, not love.
Thought to contribute to peace and stability, it was the dominant custom into the latter half of the 20th century.
The Conversation UK receives funding from Hefce, Hefcw, SAGE, SFC, RCUK, The Nuffield Foundation, The Ogden Trust, The Royal Society, The Wellcome Trust, Esmée Fairbairn Foundation and The Alliance for Useful Evidence, as well as sixty five university members.