Following a one-year “lock-up period” imposed by Sina he set up a music sharing company that eventually pivoted to become “I wanted to create an online community for music lovers, but we noticed that the people who came to this community were really there to meet other singles so I decided that I’d just go straight to dating,” says Li, who met his wife Kathy at a drinks event in Hong Kong.According to figures released recently by the Ministry of Civil Affairs, the “crude divorce rate” – which measures the number of separations for every 1,000 people in China – doubled in the decade through 2016 from 1.46 to three.The number of couples who actually divorced last year rose 8.3 per cent from 2015 to 4.2 million – and the trend is expected to continue.“They want to know from the very beginning, before they waste time, whether the husband and wife will manage the finances collectively, whether she has to live with her in-laws and whether he wants children and how many,” Li says.The matchmakers get a minimal base salary and earn commission for every match, so it’s in their interest to make good matches and smooth out any dating hiccups.
The self-service platform allows members to send each other digital “winks”.
, while last year it got a lot of coverage following the cosmetic firm SK-II’s emotional advert on the subject, which went viral. He points to what he calls the “80/20 principle” in the animal kingdom, where 20 per cent of the male species “owns” 80 per cent of the females, leaving 80 per cent of males mateless.
“My view is that it’s the natural order of things to have leftover men, but you become a leftover woman by choice.
This is because the Chinese government aims to migrate an additional 250 million people from the countryside to the cities over the next decade – and he expects many of them to be potential customers.
China’s rising divorce rate is also driving business.