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Looking for Love in All the Wong Places: Internet Dating in China

A dear friend of mine recently came to China to meet a beautiful woman that he had corresponded with for several months. The meet-up was a bit of a bust*: they needed an interpreter 24/7 and most of the expats and Chinese who met her came to the same conclusion that was confirmed a couple of weeks after my buddy returned stateside.


His intended was picked up in a raid of, um, entertainment businesses in Shenzhen and couldn’t write for a couple of weeks as they don’t have DSL in the provincial jail there. If it wasn’t so sad it would be funny. OK, so it was funny and I have tortured him since it happened.

To go back in time a bit: I was startled last year when one of the staff directors here asked why foreigners seem to be attracted by the Chinese women that the natives find unappealing.

I wryly replied that he should consider it a blessing.

Lots of men look Eastward to find relationships. They frequent inter-cultural dating sites for a number of reasons: some good, some bad.

The women who use the Chinese dating services and chat services are, by and large, good women in search of an honest and lasting relationship. Most of them are divorced or highly educated and that puts them on the outs in many Chinese social circles. It is like American thinking not so many years ago.

Unlike some countries, the women here are not looking to sleep their way to an American visa. They come from proud families and are deeply rooted in their regional cultures. That does not mean that they will not relocate for the right relationship or the promise of a caring life together with a special someone. I have known several women who have followed their hearts to America, Canada and elsewhere.

Following are some general musings, concerns and comments on online love searches for Chinese women. A later post will list services and their ratings by friends and associates that have found their soul mates via the Internet.

Most Chinese make about $80–$200 U.S. dollars a month, so life is short of frills for many of the women on the net. BUT: don’t send any money unless you have been here to visit or unless you have enough knowledge to discern the truth of a request. There are scammers on the net, albeit a lot less in China than in other developing countries. Come here and meet the lady for which you are falling into cyberspace. The worst you will get is a great vacation.

My friend was asked by his cyber-paramour to pay for English lessons and a small operation. The fee requested seemed small to my American buddy but would have bought the girl a full-time tutor for a year and gotten her more plastic modifications than Cher and Phyllis Diller combined.

NEVER send money for a plane ticket unless you have verified that your beloved has a visa in hand. I know of two men who spent several long hours together in a Denver airport unknowingly waiting for the same girl. It is a long and winding road to a visa, even a fiance stamp, now that Homeland Insecurity is involved. Be in this quest for the long haul. And don’t be frivilous: a fiance visa is a once in a lifetime deal for a Chinese woman. If you decide not to marry after the trial period your Asian siren does not get a second chance to find Mr. Right.

Be sensitive about age and cultural differences: If you are “older” and your love connection is as well, you will find that she may not know much about the West. Many women during the years following the Cultural Revolution had little contact with anything outside of China. Many have never ridden in an airplane or used a computer outside of the Internet shop that helps them with dating. Now, if you can sing a few Russian songs or know all the words to any song by Michael Learns to Rock you are son-in-law material! However, don’t expect your mate to even know who the Beatles were….

You will find far more acceptance for your Western self here than in some Asian countries. China, unlike Japan, does not have nearly as much ethnocentric dislike of foreigners. Families here will embrace you, and it is a common myth that Chinese women and Western men make beautiful offspring. In contrast, in Japan they will tell you that, pretty or not, your child is still a half-breed.

Sexually, things are incredibly different. Don’t expect to be holding hands or snuggling in public. And you’d better talk out private likes and dislikes well before your fantasies about Asian subservience turn into night sweats.

And men: I have found foreigners to be quite, um, lazy about learning the culture…they rely on the woman to do all the work bridging the divide. Learn a FEW words in her native tongue and don’t expect her to have an easy time adapting. Acculturation is tougher than you think: don’t think that her generous spirit signals inner peace.

To my friend in foreign affairs: thank goodness for cultural differences. To my buddy in America: Sigh. We will prescreen for you. *And no, we won’t just determine her cup size from her glamor shot on

I will write more on this soon. Feel free to ask questions.

Asian Women,cartoons,China Editorials,China Expats,Confucius Slept Here,Expats,Humor,Intercultural Issues,Internet Dating,Japan,Personal Notes

7 responses so far

7 Responses to “Looking for Love in All the Wong Places: Internet Dating in China”

  1. Peter Porcupineon Feb 24th 2007 at 4:31 am

    Lonnie – LOVE the new look of the site!

    Also – check out the post I have up now about a very special film (if it isn’t banned…)

  2. adminon Feb 24th 2007 at 4:39 am

    Thanks Peter!!

    (Peter’s link:

    I am sure it will get blasted by the censors….I will look for it in HK!

  3. China Law Blogon Feb 24th 2007 at 11:11 pm

    Yes, yes, yes. Because most of my law firm’s practice involves China, Vietnam and Russia, we get about a call a month from a guy asking for our assistance in helping recover money paid to a fake girlfriend. We have never made a dime off any of these calls because we always tell them it is not economical lfor them to pay us to try to recover $2,500 to $5,000 in these places, particularly when we probably have absolutely no information on anyone in the scam.

    We also sometimes get calls before the scam goes down and the advice you have given here is the advice we give:

    1. These women virtually never get visas.
    2. Why do they need $3,000 for a visa and an airplane ticket when it should cost them a total of $1,000?

    The amazing thing is that whenever we get these calls before the scam has gone down, the guys get mad at us for having burst their bubble. I am not saying these things are always a scam, but I am saying that I am aware of probably around 50 guys out there who have each paid thousands in one of these deals and then gotten only radio silence in return.

  4. adminon Feb 25th 2007 at 12:55 am

    Thanks for the input….I am grateful, albeit saddened, by the real life examples you gave…

    50?!! Gad…

    I still hold that most of the women out there are great ladies looking for love options not available to them in a society with harsh treatment of divorcees, highly educated women and others…

  5. chinese womanon Feb 27th 2007 at 8:31 am

    just wondering if they needed a interpretor when meeting, which language they’d used to correspond with for a few month?

  6. English manon Nov 9th 2008 at 5:27 am

    Hi Guys
    My experience on dating a chinese lady for what it is worth! Age 50
    By the way i am a decent genuine guy looking for a younger lady to wed and to look after and share my life with.
    Wrote to a girl for a year sounded sweet caring too good to be true,went to china
    to meet her she did not turn up as arranged.
    Was met by 2 so called friends there had a letter from her saying she had problems with her ex so she could not meet me.
    To cut a very long story short (if anybody is interested i can tell you)i got friendly with the girls and they told me this girl (Rose) was meeting someone else at the same time,she also had a Hong Kong Boyfriend she had writen and met many westeners in order to get money from them and had been very successful at it.
    By the way her name was rose mao hong run (now Ms Mou P5081505 CHINA LOVE)

    My opinion of dating a chinese lady.

    Never under any circumstances send any money!you are fooling yourselfs £100-£500
    might not be a lot to you old guys but it will cost you £1,500 to £2.000 to go visit them.

    On these dating sites they pay pretty chinese women to be on the site, since a average wage is £100 a month in china there pay them £10.000 to £20,000 pounds.

    At the moment it is assumed that at least 50% of the beautiful women are there to attract you and as time go’s by and there realise how gullible many westerners are it will be as much as 80% or more!

    Mega fortunes are being made from setting up these sites.
    If there pretty and they write age does not matter on there profile.Der

    Look if there earn £100 a month for 7 days a week and you send them £100 pounds
    thats a months wage if you send them a £1000 for a computer or english lessons
    or some other excuse it is nearly a years wage and that is just one westerner if she is talking to 2 or 5 or 10 it is like winning the lotto!

    Believe me i have been over there and i talked to many chinese people.I was there for three weeks.I also have been told many stories about what odd and frankly pathetic westerners get up to when there come to china to meet chinese ladies.

    Good points
    There are many average decent chinese women that are genuine so just use commom sense.
    Sorry guys i could go on for ages but i am not sure anybody is interested.

    I know this is only my experience but i have personnel experience and i know there have been many success stories but there is also a bad side to this.

    Sorry this is really negative but i say it with a smile on my face Guys we are old possibly over weight possibly not that good looking and to get attention from a young lady is good for our ego, But you are being humoured you silly old fool for your money.Smile

    An old English Fool

  7. marcuson Dec 5th 2009 at 10:10 pm

    Hi Englishman

    I agree with your statement. Building a relationship anywhere takes time, China is no exception. I think a man needs to do a general trip to China in an organised tour to see the sights and get a look at China. He needs to get to know about Chinese history and China in the present day. He needs to have no ego or dependency problems and if he does he will end up with a Chinese narcissistic female instead of the usual Western narcissistic female. He needs to realise that it is a risk for himself and the woman he may be seeing. He needs to back his own intuition and not be told he must do things because of culture (such as giving them money). There are good ones there but you need to take time and not be in any type of rush and drop things if you begin to see that she is bad one. It takes time, energy, money, wisdom, knowledge and skills to get a go one. ( it usually costs $15,000 to $20,000 USD from start to finish to marry a Chinese woman and bring her back to your own country. It costs even more if she divorces you and takes half of your money and puts in a claim for child support for the child that you helped her to bring in. Don’t rush, if she is a good one she will be patient because she values you.

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