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“The higher the earning power of the man, the more likely he would [be to] ask to date a younger woman,” Li says.
The more affordable “self-service” dating site is popular with those in their 20s, but he says there is a very definite trend that when women reach the age of 27 they opt for the more pricey matchmaking service.
It’s a self-imposed criteria – she can always find a mate,” Li says.
He says that the better educated a woman is, and the more economically well off, the higher the standards she will set.
That’s according to Dr Song Li, founder of Zhenai.com, one of China’s biggest matchmaking sites – who apologises if his findings may not seem “politically correct”. Professors at the University of Hong Kong or a university in the UK or US might be interested in using our data to study the psychology of love,” says Li, who has the infectious enthusiasm and quirky personality commonly seen among bona fide serial entrepreneurs.
“I’d love it if our data could contribute to society.” He’s not kidding about the volume of data.
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.
says it has 120 million registered users, and new users join the dating platform at a rate of 40,000 to 50,000 a day.
Born in a suburb of Shanghai, Li trained as a molecular biologist at Cornell University in the US and, after realising he wasn’t suited to fiddling with Petri dishes in a lab, switched to Columbia University, where he earned a Ph D in finance.
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.