Search for Mr Rich goes awry

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - NATION - By HOU LIQIANG houliqiang@chi­nadaily.com.cn

Chi­nese women on the hunt for a rich hus­band have been warned to be wary of on­line fraud­sters pos­ing as high- class match­mak­ers or suit­ors.

The alert comes af­ter au­thor­i­ties launched an in­ves­ti­ga­tion into a com­pany that prom­ises to help sin­gle women meet suc­cess­ful busi­ness­men, but which is now fac­ing al­le­ga­tions of “crooked pro­mo­tion”.

Guangzhou 520 Info Tech­nol­ogy en­tered the high-end match­mak­ing mar­ket last year with the China En­tre­pre­neur Club for Sin­gles, and it claims 60,000 women have al­ready signed up for this year’s ac­tiv­i­ties.

Ac­cord­ing to the com­pany, it pledges to in­tro­duce about 60 se­lected women to meet with 50 rich men run­ning busi­nesses worth more than 100 mil­lion yuan ($16.32 mil­lion) in the Mal­dives.

How­ever, the State Ad­min­is­tra­tion for In­dus­try and Com­merce said last week that China En­tre­pre­neur Club for Sin­gles is not reg­is­tered with any ad­min­is­tra­tive depart­ment in Guang­dong prov­ince and has no op­er­a­tion li­cense.

The city au­thor­ity has taken mea­sures against the com­pany and in­formed other de­part­ments to co­op­er­ate to negate the so­cial im­pact re­sult­ing from the “crooked pro­mo­tion”, the State ad­min­is­tra­tion said, with­out dis­clos­ing fur­ther de­tails.

Li Zhuo, mar­ket­ing di­rec­tor for China En­tre­pre­neur Club for Sin­gles, in­sisted Guangzhou 520 Info Tech­nol­ogy has reg­is­tered with the city in­dus­try and com­merce body, and that CECS, one of the com­pany’s brands, has reg­is­tered with the copy­right of­fice.

How­ever, Li con­ceded that the com­pany “is still in the early stage of its busi­ness and may not be con­sid­er­ate in many as­pects” and vowed to co­op­er­ate with au­thor­i­ties to rec­tify the prob­lems.

While thou­sands of women are drawn by the high- end match­mak­ing ac­tiv­i­ties to look for a rich Mr Right, oth­ers have fallen vic­tim to swindlers, who pre­tend to be rich on match­mak­ing web­sites.

Po­lice in Shang­hai’s Baoshan county un­cov­ered a se­ries of frauds in which a sus­pect iden­ti­fied as Li cheated more than 30 women out of about 1 mil­lion yuan over a pe­riod of a year by pre­tend­ing to be rich on match­mak­ing web­sites and then ask­ing for gifts for his new busi­ness.

“Many women want to get what they want by find­ing a rich hus­band, which can save them 20 years of strug­gle,” said Yu Hai, a so­ci­ol­ogy pro­fes­sor at Fu­dan Univer­sity in Shang­hai.

He added that this makes high-end match­mak­ing pop­u­lar and also of­fers chances for those swindlers.

Zhou Xiaopeng, an ex­pert at Baihe, a pop­u­lar match­mak­ing web­site, said: “Par­ents and schools haven’t taught girls how to date and fall in love. When it’s time for them to date and fall in love, how­ever, they just find them­selves sur­rounded by money.”

Search­ing for a rich Mr Right has been no stranger to the so­ci­ety and we still have sev­eral ways to dis­tin­guish the cheaters, Zhou said.

“For the high-end match­mak­ing, usu­ally you can­not see the rich, only their subor­di­nates be­cause they are too busy,” Zhou said. “And it usu­ally charges ladies no money or only a small amount of money. If they charge you a lot, the or­ga­niz­ers are highly likely to be swindlers.”

Frauds usu­ally will not give you any ac­cess to their cir­cle of friends and will ask to bor­row a large sum of money af­ter three months’ dat­ing, Zhou said.

“They may bor­row some money from you and then re­turn it to you, only to gain your trust as prepa­ra­tion for bor­row­ing a large sum of money,” he added.

Zhou said those who try their best to please the ladies and show off their wealth in an ex­ces­sive way are also highly likely to be frauds.

ZHENG TAO / FOR CHINA DAILY

A can­di­date shows off her do­mes­tic skills at a match­mak­ing event for women search­ing a wealthy hus­band.

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