“Men have a much higher success rate [in finding love] and a much broader selection, since they can choose someone from a lower social group,” said Chen, whose family controls a Chengdu property and hotel empire.
“For women, it is almost impossible to choose downwards — their family and friends would not approve and they would face many difficulties.” Mr Du’s hunt for eligible bachelors, a collaboration with Hong Kong-based dating agency Feng Qiu Huang, began on June 18 when he began taking online applications from across China and the world.
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According a 2011 rich-list compiled by the Shanghai-based luxury publisher Hurun, 29 of China’s richest 1,000 individuals are based in Sichuan province while 20 live in its capital Chengdu.
Sichuan province has the 8th highest number of people among China’s richest 1000.
So far around 1,500 men have signed up, including one Australian and several applicants from the US and Canada.
UK-based graduates of “famous [British] universities” had also applied, he said.
Early this year the founder of one of China’s biggest online dating sites – – told local television his company was making annual profits of around £20 million from its 36 million registered users.
Even the government sees helping men find love as a priority.
Phase two of the search will begin on July 20 when organisers start sifting through CVs and vetting the would-be husbands in a series of face-to-face meetings with relationship specialists and fortune-tellers in hotels around China.