China:Certification for matchmakers and Regulation of Brideprices

May 8, 2024

The escalation of bride prices and the commission of the match makers are on extreme high rates in parts of China. Inspite of the many online dating applications many of the unmarried youth still rely on the traditional matchmakers which facilitates such services, which charge high rates as commission, according to the bride prices. This is happening in the most rural areas of the country, where lower economic conditions, low education and therefore marital perspectives that are significantly tied to traditional customs exists.

Bride prices are common in China, where the groom gives money or other gifts such as gold or jewelry or other gifts, to his future wife’s family as a pre-requisitie for marriage. However, the traditional custom has come under scrutiny in recent years due to exorbitant bride prices being seen around the country.

Rural matchmakers normally earn commissions based on a percentage or fixed amount of the dowry.  There are even professional matchmaker associations at county and township levels, including strict supervision and law enforcement to combat improper profitering in this trade. There are even, matchmaking events, festivals and gathering during traditional holidays organized to provide opportunities for prospective marriage age individuals.

The Chinese apex court has even issued draft regulations on handling family disputes over bride prices, affirming that the length of cohabitation a determing factor in deciding whether the bride price should be returned at instances of divorce or seperation.

The Ministry of Civil Affairs proposes to issue certification to the match-makers following this year, requiring practitioners to obtain a certificate from nationally recognized and legitimate institutions, ensuring they possess the necessary professional knowledge and skills which regulates fraudulent practices.

In governance efforts, the various contributing factors through systematic policies, social development, protection of vulnerable groups and community interventions.

Currently, courts supports a request for the return of a bride price when one of three conditions is met under the Civil Code: the marriage is unregistered, the marriage is registered but without cohabitation, or the bride price “is causing difficulties” in the groom’s life.

As China’s marriage rate has fallen to record lows, the government has sought to reduce the financial burden of marriages. Dozens of cities and districts around the country have introduced marriage custom reforms to tackle exorbitant wedding and bride prices this year, after the central government made it a national priority in February.

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