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Exploring China with Rex: A Chinese dating corner


01-16-2018 15:19 BJT

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By Qian Ding, reporter and editor of CCTV.com

When I visited Shanghai in 2017, the crowded dating corner at Shanghai People's Square caught my attention. A bunch of parents had gotten together with their children's information on pieces of paper, trying to find a partner for their kids. It left me with a very peculiar first impression. First, why do their children not come themselves? Secondly, the information on those papers are usually about salary, house and other material requirements, are these the only things these parents care about? Is our society so materialistic that even marriage has turned into a product of the market?

The dating corner like this is not only held in Shanghai, but also in Beijing, China's capital, Chengdu, a city located in southwest of China, Guangzhou, located in southeast of China, as well as other provinces and regions. In other words, it's getting more and more popular throughout China. Many media outlets including Tencent and local TV stations have covered the phenomenon, which had even attracted super star actor Ian McKelle who participates in it. So what are the motivations behind the phenomenon?

Rex Simons

Rex Simons, host of the video

   Ian McKelle at a dating corner held at Shanghai People‘s Square, 2016

With these questions in mind, Rex Simons, our host from the United States, Photographers Pan Zhenggang, Sun Jia, Luo Li and myself had hit on the road of exploration. We went to participate in a dating corner held in Zhongshan Park, Beijing. The filming journey was not easy, some people on site were trying to stop us with threats and insults. But as old saying goes, "Good things never come easy." We made it and recorded the real situation there. Afterwards, we spent about ten days with our video editor Liang Haibo on post production and thanks to the support of CCTV.com, the video "Exploring China with Rex: A Chinese dating corner" can be presented here, sharing our experiences with more people. Hopefully, it can bring you some new insights about the phenomenon. We give Special thanks to Qu Ge and Li Shouen for their suggestions on revisions of this video.

Welcome to join us along the journey of "Exploring China." You can share with us about the unique dating experiences in your home country via panview@vip.cntv.cn.

(The opinions expressed here do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Panview or CCTV.com)


Panview offers a new window of understanding the world as well as China through the views, opinions, and analysis of experts. We also welcome outside submissions, so feel free to send in your own editorials to "globalopinion@vip.cntv.cn" for consideration.

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