No dates? Let China's Communist Youth League help you
A piece of news saying that China' s Communist Youth League (CYL) promised to help single young people to find their soulmate became an instant hit online this week.
Newly-wed couples pose for a group photo in a metro station in Zhengzhou, capital of central China's Henan Province, Aug. 9, 2016. [Photo: Xinhua]
On the People's Daily's official Weibo account, a microblogging site, the story has garnered over 47,000 comments and has been shared over 50,000 times.
Many followers cheered for the news:
"Mum! Where is my CYL certificate!"
"Count me in, please! I'm 23."
"Finally! My country never disappoints me!" "CYL, I need help!"
CYL will organize more social activities for single men and women, including book clubs and blind dates, to bring potential couples together, according to a press release by CYL.
So far, the CYL has organized 16 social gatherings bringing together 1,700 participants, which have resulted in 208 people finding a partner, according to the CYL official WeChat account.
The program is not without its critics, however.
The activities won't work -- it would be too awkward, said Zhang Yuangan, 28.
"While their intentions are honorable, dating is a very personal issue," said Zhang.
China had around 180 million single adults of marriageable age in 2013. According to data released by the Ministry of Civil Affairs, marriages dropped by 6.3 percent in 2015 from 2014.
A survey by the Institute of Social Science at Peking University found that 47 percent of female respondents choose "wrong timing" as the reason they are single, while 47 percent of the male respondents say their singledom is due to "financial difficulties."
For Chinese singletons, it is not just the CYL watching their marital status.
In a culture that places such value on family, Chinese parents are often deeply involved in their children's relationships.
In metropolises across the country, there are always "matchmaking corners," not for the singletons, but for their parents. Parents will post and advertize their children, and will include details such as income, education and work place.
But of course, not all parent are concerned.
"My parents have never pressured me to get married. My grandparents sometimes mention it, but they don't push it at all," said Zhu Bing, 29.