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Bachelors' blues: Expensive brides

(Shanghai Daily)

08:31, June 19, 2013

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Brides become expensive in China

For young Chinese men, the cost of marrying their lady love, especially a city girl, just keeps going up.

The latest bad news spreading on the Internet is a small, self-reporting survey and correlating map of China, indicating where the priciest and most affordable brides live. Everybody's talking about it and what it says about their marriage prospects and a materialistic society.

The results was released last week: Shanghai girls are the costliest in the nation in terms of what it calls "betrothal gifts" or pin li (聘礼). The price of marrying a Shanghai woman is 100,000 yuan (in cash, ring, jewelry, handbags, luxury gifts) and an apartment. No. 2 is Tianjin at 60,000 in cash and gifts, plus an apartment.

Chongqing is on the bottom of the list, where respondents indicated the cost was zero, but that's hard to believe in this day and age of materialism.

"If I was a bride-to-be in Shanghai, I would have been so happy. But unfortunately, I am a bridegroom-to-be," says Peter Fu, a 28-year-old professional.

"This news is like a thunderbolt. My parents are worried because they already bought an apartment that cost them two million yuan (US$326,320)," he tells Shanghai Daily. Originally his parents agreed to buy a one-carat diamond ring for his bride, but this news about more cash and gifts puts a burden on them, he says. "This is tragedy for the bridegroom's family."

Many people say that the rocketing prices in real estate is driven by mothers-in-law, since nearly all of them demand the bridegroom's family buy a new apartment, the bigger the better.

"Frankly, it doesn't matter to me whether I live with my in-laws because they already have a big apartment," says Rachel Lin, a 28-year-old employee in a public relations company. "But my mother told me how inconvenient it would be to live with my in-laws and said I needed independent space for myself and my husband."

She called the requirement of buying a new apartment in Shanghai "daunting." Her fiance's family agreed to give the couple 1 million yuan as a down payment, but that still means a million yuan mortgage costing nearly 10,000 yuan a month. "That really eats into our salaries and will lower our life quality," she says.

She says she'd rather rent, spare the headache of ownership and "use the money for overseas travel and buying clothing for myself."

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Email|Print|Comments(Editor:LiXiang、Zhang Qian)

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JPChina at 2013-06-27202.118.69.*
I wonder how many other eligible young women are made "leftover" due to their mother"s unreasonable demands? I suspect that many of these eligible women are leftover because of the meddling parents. My advice to men looking for a wife is to not discount a woman a few years older than you.

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