There are now close to 200 million single adults in China, China News Network has reported citing government data.

While educated, high-earning singles are fueling the “singles economy” in big cities, however, many feel they are being marginalised by society and the government.

When the Shanghai government rolled out home ownership restrictions in 2010 to curb rising prices, single people without a “hukou” residency permit were barred from buying property while married couples were allowed to do so. In Guangzhou, too, single people were not allowed to buy subsidised housing.

This prompted an online “alliance of singles” that campaigned against the preferential policy. Local authorities, however, were unwilling to budge.

A mass blind date event in China.

Being single may also be an obstacle in your career. The report cited a Beijing civil servant who said he was sick of being “pitied” by his colleagues. The man also said he missed a promotion because his superiors saw him as “immature.”

More and more women are choosing the single life, with 2.47 percent of those above 30 recorded as “unmarried” in the government’s latest census – more than double of the number from the previous round ten years ago.

Stigma against bachelorettes is still felt by many, however. A single woman working in the private sector told China News Network her company always asked her to work on holidays because they assumed she “has no life.”


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.