Zhu Li, the CEO of www.juedui100.com, one of China's biggest matchmaking websites, talked with METRO about her opinions on wang hun (cyberspace marriage).
Q: What is wang hun?
A: Wang hun is an online phenomenon in which people become friends online, become online lovers and then have an online wedding.
There are several websites and online games that allow for such virtual marriages, which can include wedding ceremonies, decorating online apartments and even enjoy cyberspace honeymoons.
Q: Who are these people?
A: According to my observation and personal experience, it's mostly young people about 25 years old or so.
But some domestic media say an increasing number of middle school and primary school students are having cyberspace marriages.
Q: Why is the phenomenon so popular?
A: There are many different reasons. Some people lead simple or even boring lives in the real world and have limited social circles. Such people feel lonely and search for romance online.
Other may be compensating for unsatisfactory love lives or marriages in real life.
This "virtual cheating" can sometimes be as damaging as cheating in real life.
Q: What are your thoughts on primary school and middle school students getting "married" online?
A: They might just be maturing quickly or curious. But students should spend most of their time studying, so online marriages can be a distracting waste of time for them.
Q: Are there real life benefits to virtual weddings?
A: There can be, especially if young people with extremely limited social circles who meet and fall in love online end up getting married in real life.
(China Daily 04/28/2010)