For single people, relationship fatigue is a common phenomenon. Hours of swiping left can result in despair at the potential matches in your space. One city in Jiangxi, a province in jap China, reckons that it has come up with an answer for the lovelorn or love-weary: a state-sponsored matchmaking service.
Guixi, a metropolis of about 640,000 folks, has launched an app that makes use of data on single residents to build a matchmaking platform. The app is named “Palm Guixi” and includes a platform for organising blind dates, in accordance with China Youth Daily, a state-run newspaper.
The app is part of a province-wide initiative to boost the marriage rate, which has been falling nationwide for the previous decade. In 2021 there have been 5.4 marriages per 1,000 individuals, in contrast with six within the US.
Elsewhere in Jiangxi, local governments are organising in-person occasions to get people mingling. In Gao’an metropolis, about 100 young singles attended an occasion in Ruizhou Fuya park where they could gown up in conventional clothes, play video games and “get closer” to every other as they felt “the profoundness of Chinese culture”.
One of the principle pillars of the Jiangxi pilot is a campaign towards excessive “bride prices”. In current years the government has discouraged the traditional practice of a possible groom offering a bride’s family money earlier than marriage. The country’s civil code prohibits “the exaction of cash or presents in connection with marriage”. But in apply the custom stays frequent, particularly in rural areas. In 2022 Jiangxi topped an unofficial nationwide ranking of bride prices, with an average of 380,000 yuan (£45,000).
Through a mix of public awareness campaigns and limits on extravagant wedding ceremony ceremonies and banquets, Shicheng county claims to have virtually eradicated “betrothal gifts”.
Online reactions to the state-sponsored matchmaking service have been blended. Many commenters on Weibo linked it to the government’s push to spice up China’s rapidly falling birthrate. Chinese people are anticipated to “breed like pigs”, wrote one consumer.