Marriage for Chinese people is very important. After going through all the social and family pressure (especially for a guy) to own a nice car, property and have a steady well paying job to satisfy the girl or her family,  you would hope that you are getting married or at least dating the right person. I have a friend that constantly talks and coaches her friend about relationship advice – ‘don’t worry if he’s not rich’ or ‘who cares if he’s white’ I often over hear. But for Chinese, a lot of these things do matter and it’s a function of cultural expectations. Plus the dating market in China is beginning to intensify. According to the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, China is expected to have as many as 24 million more men than women over the next 10 years. This is really not a good trend for men wanting to find a girl – you will really have to fight for her!

But like anything in the world where demand and supply side economics come into play, there is always a business and money to be made out of it. I’ve seen an interesting show on CCTV called ‘Feichang Wu Rao’ which translates into ‘if not sincere then don’t bother’, a show where a man competes for the affection of 24 women to result in a promising date with one of them. There are thousands of online dating sites that aim to help people find ‘the one’ such as match.sina.com or chinalovematch.net which claims ‘Chinese women turn dreams into reality’, are these women genies? It appears that most of these sites are geared towards Western men to find a magic Chinese woman. Damn, this makes it even tougher for Chinese men! But perhaps there is more science and clever algorithms to help people match up. The success of more niche dating websites such as JDate for Jewish Americans and the newly launched 2RedBeans for Chinese Americans that matches singles according to more Chinese cultural values such as rate of immigration or level of education could be the key to better matching.

2RedBeans is a start-up based in the Bay Area, California. It was started by Q who went through the Founder Institute, where she was mentored about how to create and build a start-up and meet co-founders. That’s when she met Jeff, a previous Y-Combinator start-up founder. So it seems, the two were meant to be and so 2RedBeans was created. After only being officially launched for 1 week, the site is showing signs of success. It currently has 2,000 members, 90% of which are in the US and has already matched 200 people together.

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Jason Lim

Jason is an Australian born Chinese living in Beijing, specializing in entrepreneurship, start-ups and the investment eco-system in China, especially in the tech and social area.