Business / Industries

Industry grows with bridal budgets

By LYU CHANG (China Daily) Updated: 2014-08-12 14:01

Industry grows with bridal budgets

The booth of Baihe, one of China's biggest online dating companies, at the China Internet Conference held in Beijing. [Photo/China Daily]

Even before the wedding bells ring, dating websites and marriage "headhunters" are getting their share of the matrimonial money. After all, 20 percent of Chinese are single and looking for their better halves.

And it is not just the wedding planners and dressmakers who have their hands in the pockets of the nation's singletons. Real estate developers also want a slice of the wedding cake.

On Aug 2, which was the Chinese Valentine's Day, Qixi Group, a property developer named after the festival of love, celebrated in a different way.

Instead of paying for fancy dinners and flowers, the company spent more than 400 million yuan ($64 million) to open a "love manor" comprising 30,000 square meters in Beijing's suburban Tongzhou district.

The manor hosts wedding shoot sites, a honeymoon resort, space for wedding banquets, a film production base and a commercial center.

"If you look at how much people are willing to throw away on their weddings, you can see that love and marriage are a big business in China," said Zhang Yun, president of the property group.

He said there are hundreds of couples taking wedding photos at the venue every day with many planning to book hotels for their big wedding parties.

"To say weddings are a booming industry in China is an understatement," he said.

China's wedding industry is already a $57 billion business, and many say it can only grow as the middle class expands, along with a willingness to spend big on weddings.

Even that estimate seems to be moderate. According to the China Wedding Industry Development Report, an average of $12,000 is spent on each wedding, which means that with more than 10 million weddings each year in the country, the market is likely to reach $120 billion.

"Parents will do anything for their one and only child, and a wedding is a once-in-a-lifetime occasion, so people are willing to spend big bucks tying the knot," Zhang said.

The company also teamed up with Baihe, one of China's biggest online dating companies with about 4.6 million registered users, to explore the online dating craze.

Although it is a strategic partnership, and the company only provides a social networking and dating space for single online users, the market potential comes from the industries based on weddings, such as sales of diamond rings, bridal gowns and honeymoon packages.

Industry grows with bridal budgets

Industry grows with bridal budgets

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