Matchmaking is a long-standing cultural practice in China.Before 1950, many marriages were arranged by parents who followed the rule of “matching doors and parallel windows,” or 成家立业 -- that is to get married, have children and please their families.However, many young Chinese resent their parents attempts to interfere in their romantic life.When Zhou’s parents played matchmaker for her, she felt that if she didn’t like the guys chosen by her parents, it would lead to arguments where her parents blamed her for being “too picky.” Dating apps in China instead empower the individual where life is catching up with the law.Jiayuan and Baihe, China’s most popular dating sites, had around 126 million and 85 million registered users in 2015 respectively (Tinder had about 50 million active users in 2014).
Despite the common stereotype of dating apps being used for casual hookups, these apps are typically used by people who are looking for lasting connections.
Despite these changes, Chinese parents still have great influence in their children’s romantic lives.
The older generation often takes responsibility for arranging blind dates for young adults, but only when they are old enough to be married.
In addition to these laws, China’s Open Door Policy of 1978, which began to expose Chinese to outside cultural influences, further destabilized traditional customs.
More young Chinese took the initiative, many driven by romantic love, to seek potential spouses in their circles through school, work, social gatherings or mutual friends.