Chinese courtship dating
There have been some consequences to this shift: As TV became more commercialized, so, too, did love and marriage.
By the late 2000s, dating shows needed to continue to evolve in order to compete with other programs.
Others partnered with corporations to boost advertising revenue.
Today, it’s not uncommon to see commercial products and brands being hawked on various dating programs or hear hosts casually mention sponsors during an episode.
More than ever before, networks needed to produce entertaining shows that attracted audiences.
It was during this period that dating shows started to transform, depicting live, on-air matchmaking and dates between single males , a popular Taiwanese show that matched singles through three rounds of speed dating.
Its emphasis on finding partners for men was a testament to China’s unbalanced sex ratio, caused by a combination of China’s one-child policy and advances in ultrasound technology in the 1980s that allowed pregnant women to abort millions of baby girls. Male candidates introduced themselves and their family background, listed their criteria for a spouse, and answered a few questions from the host.
It was essentially a singles ad broadcast before audience members, who, if interested, could contact the candidate for a date.
Economic liberalization had loosened restrictions for what could appear on the airwaves, but there was now the added pressure of turning a profit.
However, even in the wake of political change and globalization, many families still held the traditional Chinese belief that women, unlike men, belonged in the home, and that their parents had the final say over whom they could marry.
So when a TV show like ), came from a 1944 speech by Mao Zedong.
Strategies that dating shows adopted included hiring polished hosts, borrowing set designs and show formats from Western reality shows, and incorporating technology to better interact with audience members and TV viewers at home.
Some shows started collaborating with online dating websites like and to attract participants and viewers.
Despite all the limitations, the show was a groundbreaking depiction of courtship.