An economics professor in China has suggested a solution for the country’s looming bachelor crisis – polyandry.

Xie Zuoshi of the Zhejiang University of Finance and Economics caused a storm in the Chinese media by saying poor men who cannot find wives should “bundle up to get one to share between themselves.”

Professor Xie Zhoushi. Photo: Weibo.

His comment came after Chinese authorities estimated that by 2020, there will be 33.8 million more men than women in the country. The gender imbalance is partly due to sex-selective abortions and female infanticide because many parents prefer boys under the one-child policy.

In a recent blog post, Xie wrote several men sharing one wife is not a wild fantasy, but an idea which has been put into practice in China.

“In those remote and poor areas, several brothers share one wife, and they all live happily and harmoniously,” Xie wrote.

Xie’s blog asking people to not get over troubled by the bachelor crisis. Photo: screencap.

Most Chinese netizens were against Xie’s argument. On the Twitter-like Weibo platform, many chided Xie’s “shameless” and “degenerative” idea. “Such a disgrace! I feel sorry for his students and colleagues,” a comment read.

In an ongoing poll on Weibo, 66.5% of the 7,700 respondents have said they don’t agree with polyandry.

In an interview with online news portal Sina, Xie insisted his idea is a good solution for the worsening gender imbalance.

If the 30 million extra single men cannot find women, they will turn into criminals and cause social instability, he said.

Vivienne Zeng

Vivienne Zeng is a journalist from China with three years' experience covering Hong Kong and mainland affairs. She has an MA in journalism from the University of Hong Kong. Her work has been featured on outlets such as Al Jazeera+ and MSNBC.