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Get hitched at Beijing’s new love supermarket

world Updated: Feb 09, 2010 23:46 IST

Reuters
Highlight Story

For Chinese singles in the market for love this Valentine’s Day, a Beijing supermarket may offer just what they’re looking for.

The “I’m Looking For You” market opened in November 2009, for the China’s unofficial “Singles Day” which is marked on the 11th of that month.

Since then, the supermarket has attracted more than 1,000 clients and successfully matched more than 50 couples.

The supermarket — essentially a dating service that offers a venue where singles can meet — only charges a 20 yuan ($3) registration fee. Members list their names, ages, income and occupation, along with a picture, and this profile is available for others to view.

They are also asked what they would like in a partner. Gao Shan, the supermarket’s manager, said the concept was inspired by people’s need to meet in a safe, friendly and relaxing environment, and by the negative experiences some singles have had using Internet dating services. “The love supermarket was not created to satisfy a holiday need,” she said. “It was created so that singles can have the opportunity to leave behind their single life.”

Many single complain that hectic work and school schedules in the highly competitive society leave them with little time to socialise, Gao said.

Clients such as Qu Hui, a 25-year-old teacher, said the supermarket had given her hope to find Mr. Right, as well as some much-needed friends.

“I wish I could find my better half, that is my greatest hope. But if that doesn’t happen, I hope I can use this place to meet more friends. After all, I am a teacher, so the people that I can meet and socialise with are very limited,” she said.

Some clients such as Wang Jiaohong were encouraged to sign up to the so-called love supermarket by mothers eager for their children to marry.

Chinese women living in the cities may not have enough time to look for partners, but men have more to worry about.