SHANGHAI - A party thrown at the Finland Pavilion on Sunday has solidified the belief that a new era of dating has arrived in China.
Golden Bachelor Matchmakers, which organized the event and has the first online dating website that specifically targets multimillionaires, rounded up its three-month search for a new "love hunter" - a person who finds suitable female companionship for its elite male clientele - by holding a private party where the two could meet.
"As more young businessmen become busy with their companies, they have fewer opportunities to know and date excellent women. We're keen to provide a professional platform for them," said Xu Tianli, president of Golden Bachelor Matchmakers.
The love hunter contest, which began in May, attracted some 50,000 female applicants from seven regions in China. The winner, Zhang Lin, received a contract with a 250,000-yuan ($36,900) annual salary and a Mini Cooper car.
"I didn't expect to win the position, as I just graduated from university," said 23-year-old Zhang.
To register with Golden Bachelor Matchmakers, male applicants must have at least 2 million yuan in personal or family wealth.
For the private party, however, the invitation list was drawn up according to which members had 100 million yuan in personal assets. There were 20 who qualified, for whom 20 chosen women were invited with whom they could meet and mingle.
"It's the first time I attended an event like this to meet women," said Steven He, 28, who used to live in the United States and became a member of the organization earlier this year.
As dating shows and events have grown in popularity, some feel they focus too much on female participants' desire for a wealthy suitor with high status.
"I'm not in favor of these types of events designed for high-status groups or females, who pay attention to a man's wealth on certain television shows," said Yu Hai, a sociology professor at Fudan University.
"Dating shows or events should help ordinary young single people find happiness in a healthy way, instead of providing a stage to show off wealth or marry a millionaire."
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