A few weeks ago, Weird Asia News reporter Bill Lehane covered China’s bachelor epidemic, wherein “as many as 24 million eligible bachelors in China may never be able to marry because of a lack of women in the country.” Today we take a peek at China’s solution to this problem: Beijing’s Supermarket of Love.
Introduced in November 2009 on Singles Day, Beijing’s Supermarket of Love—officially known as the “I’m Looking for You” Supermarket—caters to lonely Chinese bachelors and bachelorettes seeking a long-lasting and fulfilling relationship.
Since its inception, in fact, the supermarket has attracted over 1000 clients and successfully matched more than 50 couples.
Interested parties must first pay a 20 yuan (3 USD) registration fee, after-which they’re given the opportunity to list their personal information (name, age, income, occupation) and more importantly, what they’re seeking in a potential partner.
All of this data, along with a photo, is then posted onto plaques that hang on the wall for others to see. Included on each plaque is a specific Internet ID number that an interested ‘shopper’ can use to contact the person directly.
According to Gao Shan, the supermarket’s manager, the supermarket initially arose out of the need to provide a safe and friendly way for single men and women to meet. This is in itself partly due to the negative experiences associated with Internet dating services, which have for the most part failed in China.
By bridging the gap between real life and the Internet—people come to a real-life location and then contact a potential mate via the Internet—the supermarket may finally be able to match all the lonely souls In China (especially men) who are desperate for love. Shan adds, “It was created so that singles can have the opportunity to leave behind their single life [for good].”
So who all is participating in this clever scheme? If you guessed “loser men,” then you are quite wrong. Throngs of both men and women have come from all across China to try their luck at the supermarket.
Qu Hui, a 25-year-old female teacher, explains her interest: “I wish I could find my better half; that is my greatest hope.”
36-year-old Wang Jaiohong, another lonely soul, was prodded by his Mother to sign up. According to her, he’s too picky. He disagrees though, noting, “I believe it’s because I just haven’t yet found my match.”
Hopefully, Beijing’s Supermarket of Love will help both Qu and Wang. Of all we know, they may just find each other.