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However, it is intensified by additional characteristics of the Chinese experience.In particular, the long-term implications of China’s One-child Policy have not only made it more difficult for the growing number of urbanized individuals to find a spouse, but have also raised the stakes for them to do so.While urbanization opens up economic opportunities for these individuals, it simultaneously closes social outlets, making online dating networks increasingly important in the search for a potential partner.Impact of the One-child Policy Moving to a new city and restarting one’s social life might be considered commonplace in many countries.The decade-long, relatively steady fertility rate in the 1960s of about 5.7 births per woman declined on average 6.4% per year from 1970 to 1981, according to the World Bank.

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Such factors make online dating more attractive to this generation by providing them with instant access to an extensive network of singles and a low-pressure environment in which to approach potential partners.

As of the 2005 census, there was a staggering gender gap of approximately 32 million more males than females under age 20.

Because of this gender gap, the first level of pressure comes from the fact that there are simply not enough women available for all of the men.

(A generation ago, a washing machine and refrigerator would have sufficed.) All these personal facts can also be found on the profiles hanging in the People’s Park marriage market. According to the United Nations, 2011 marked the first year ever that the number of people living in Chinese cities exceeded the number living in the countryside.

As the Chinese government gradually relaxed its control over urban migration — by loosening the restrictions of the 1958 Hukou System, which afforded social benefits only to those who could prove identification from the local province — more and more individuals have taken advantage of new economic opportunities by migrating to cities. While a great deal of research has explored the economic, political and environmental issues that will be affected by increasing urbanization, far less has examined how this trend has impacted China from a social standpoint.

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