How I Met Your Mother Through Your Grandparents by Sixth Tone & The Paper
Every weekend, Shanghai People’s Park will be packed by groups of people, who are mostly middle aged and have children that they deem should get married soon, if not already late, and who're in need of help with finding a partner.
This place is called Shanghai’s marriage market.
These parents will tent up umbrellas with posters that carry personal information about their children — age, gender, education, financial status, and whether or not they have an apartment or a car in the city.
This marriage market is not the only one in China as a growing number of young Chinese adults are postponing their marriage which comes with an increasing anxiety for singledom among these people and their parents.
Sixth Tone decided to analyze and exemplify how these parents are doing the advertising and what kind of marriage they are looking for on behalf of their children.
We collected a total of 874 anonymized advertisements, which include 618 women and 256 men.
Our findings indicated more ads focused on the person’s looking, job, or housing ownership. Only 38% of the ads talked about personality and 11% mentioned their hobbies.
We used the iconic umbrella shape in our visualization and presented for the first time among Chinese media a detailed overview of this “market”, in an attempt to dissect the psychology behind this unique Chinese social phenomenon.