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Now More Than Ever, Hong Kong Women are Marrying Mainland Men

"Hong Kong men can't compare with mainland Chinese men"

Hong Kong women are marrying mainland Chinese men more than ever before, with 7,685 Hong Kong women saying “I do” with a husband from across the border. The total is 76 more than last year’s statistics, notes the Hong Kong SAR Census and Statistics Department, adding it’s also a 28-year high.

China Daily tells us that Hong Kong women are choosing to marry more men from mainland China because they are simply better than their Hong Kong counterparts. Chung Kim Wah, director of Centre for Social Policy Studies at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University, told China Daily that Hong Kong women have a better opinion of men in the Chinese mainland due to economic development, better education and more communication.

China Daily quotes an unidentified head of an unnamed matchmaking service who points out the superior abilities of mainland Chinese men, saying that “Hong Kong women are glad to work or marry and live in the Chinese mainland, especially as there are much better men in the mainland.”

Other unidentified sources quoted by China Daily include Hong Kong marriage counselors who are quoted as saying many Hong Kong women think Hong Kong men don’t have much ambition compared with the successful and affluent men in the Chinese mainland.Hong Kong women think Hong Kong men don’t have much ambition compared with the successful and affluent men in the Chinese mainland.

Hong Xuelian, associate professor with Department of Social Work in Hong Kong Baptist University, says cultural differences between the Hong Kong women and men in the Chinese mainland are breaking down. This is seen in the example of Mary, a university student in Guangzhou who says that there is no cultural difference between Hong Kong and the mainland when it comes to love.

“My boyfriend and I don’t feel any cultural difference as we listen to the same music, watch the same movies and know the same information, though I was born in Hong Kong and he was born in Guangzhou,” says Mary. And eschewing any ideological differences they may have between them, Mary emphasizes that the big difference is all about money: “I will choose to reside in Guangzhou or Shenzhen when we are married, because quality of life in these cities is even better than that in Hong Kong.”

These are all possible reasons that could possibly explain why Hong Kong women are turning to mainland Chinese men for marriage partners. And, there’s also another that can explain this very simply: there are just not enough Hong Kong men, good or otherwise. For every 3.9 million Hong Kong women in the city, there are only 3.3 million Hong Kong men, a disparity that has been plaguing romance in Hong Kong for years.

But even with a deficit, Hong Kong men are still described in the China Daily report as falling short to mainland Chinese men in terms of affluence, ambition, and ability. And yet, if we were to take all of these things into account, it would point to a surprising conclusion as we consider the most-neglected part of the report: that Hong Kong men have long been taking mainland Chinese women for brides.

Even though it dropped from 2013, 15,226 Hong Kong men decided to marry a spouse from the Chinese mainland last year, more than twice the number of Hong Kong women who did the same.

The China Daily report does not explain this ongoing trend, but does assure us that even though Hong Kong men can’t compete with their peers from the mainland, the only reason they marry mainland Chinese women is for love. As the unidentified head of the matchmaking service says, “affluent women in the Chinese mainland are not willing to be married with Hong Kong men,” thus keeping Hong Kong men honest… at least with mainland Chinese women.

As the China Daily implies, it looks like Hong Kong women are looking for more.

Charles Liu

The Nanfang's Senior Editor