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When it comes to dating, Chinese men are most interested in what women look like, while women want to know about a man’s income.

The next consideration is a prospective partner’s profession: primary-school teachers and nurses are in high demand among men, while women favour men in IT or finance – areas men least want their partner to be working in.

Following a one-year “lock-up period” imposed by Sina he set up a music sharing company that eventually pivoted to become

“I wanted to create an online community for music lovers, but we noticed that the people who came to this community were really there to meet other singles so I decided that I’d just go straight to dating,” says Li, who met his wife Kathy at a drinks event in Hong Kong.

One of’s most in demand services is one that matches divorcees – it’s especially popular in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Shenzhen.

“It’s getting more popular every year and we are even thinking perhaps we should develop a separate app due to the high demand,” says Li.

offers two broad services: one is what Li calls a “self-service dating service” where members pay 400 yuan (US) a year to browse members’ profiles, chat and arrange dates; the other is a more exclusive offline, face-to-face matchmaking service that costs 4,000 yuan for six months.

The self-service platform allows members to send each other digital “winks”.

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He says that the better educated a woman is, and the more economically well off, the higher the standards she will set.Li has studied the relationship between a member’s monthly salary and how many winks they receives.“You can almost very accurately calculate for every 1,000 yuan salary increase how many more winks he will receive,” he says.According to figures released recently by the Ministry of Civil Affairs, the “crude divorce rate” – which measures the number of separations for every 1,000 people in China – doubled in the decade through 2016 from 1.46 to three.The number of couples who actually divorced last year rose 8.3 per cent from 2015 to 4.2 million – and the trend is expected to continue.

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