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Matchmaking often takes place when Chinese parents ask their personal connections — from close friends to complete strangers — to look for other young singles for them.

When an ideal candidate appears, two young singles will be set up by their parents to give them an opportunity to get to know each other at private, group or family dinners.

Houran points out the potential unintended consequence: in the age of dating apps, people are pickier and more selective, compared to offline dating.

Before 1950, many marriages were arranged by parents who followed the rule of “matching doors and parallel windows,” or 成家立业 -- that is to get married, have children and please their families.

“We’re looking for people who are more relationship-driven,” says Liu.

“We are matching for long-term relationships.” While dating apps and sites have made it easier for users to find a large number of highly-targeted matches and thus widening the dating pool for Chinese singles, negative effects have also arisen.

However, many young Chinese resent their parents attempts to interfere in their romantic life.

When Zhou’s parents played matchmaker for her, she felt that if she didn’t like the guys chosen by her parents, it would lead to arguments where her parents blamed her for being “too picky.” Dating apps in China instead empower the individual where life is catching up with the law.

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