Money can't buy you love, but in one Chinese city it can get you an introduction to beautiful, well-educated single women.
Eight high-rolling bachelors in the southern boomtown of Shenzhen, near the border with Hong Kong, have each paid 36,800 yuan (5,390 dollars) in the hope of finding a wife in a matchmaking competition, state media said Monday.
The men, who are aged 28-45, willing to marry and have more than 10 million yuan in assets, will meet 15 women picked from a pool of 2,000 applicants for their looks and level of education, said the Guangzhou Daily.
Zhang Guoyu, the organiser of the dating competition run by a matchmaking website, said the men were "too busy working" and had no time to look for love the old-fashioned way.
"The women they met were business partners and even if they were suitable, the men were more focused on making money so didn't bother with relationships," Zhang said.
The women, who paid nothing for the chance to meet Mr Right, include university students, graduates and business owners.
Female applicants had to answer "several hundred" questions about their income level and their attitude to love and life before being selected to meet the eight bachelors.
In a country with a large gender imbalance in favour of males, one male blind date contest entrant said he reckoned the entry fee was a small price to pay for a chance at love.
"Matchmaking allows you to focus your attention for a few hours to carefully select the one you are fond of," he said.
"It's worth more than 30,000 yuan if you can find one."