cant find love chinas party cadres lend a hand - Can't find love? China's party cadres lend a hand

“If you like someone, you can add them as a friend,” explains Communist Youth League representative Li Heng, adding there were “organisational advantages” to its involvement as their notices can reach singles across major companies and industries.

This youth branch of the CCP has in recent years taken on a “key role in sponsoring mass matchmaking events” said Ms Leta Hong Fincher, author of Betraying Big Brother: The Feminist Awakening In China.

“It’s not just the raw birth rate that the government is concerned about,” she says, adding that authorities target college-educated women with propaganda to encourage them into the “politically stabilising institution” of marriage in order to ensure a “higher quality population”.

Capping ‘bride prices’

Beijing is unwinding decades of strict family planning controls – announcing last May that couples can have three children – and rolling out cooling-off periods for divorce to slow separations.

But rural matchmakers told AFP the gender imbalance – especially stark in the countryside means love and marriage may be out of reach for some.

“Sometimes it’s beyond a 10-to-one ratio,” says Henan province matchmaker Quan Baoyong of the higher proportion of men.

Officials are prioritising the issue but campaigns can backfire. Last year, a county’s proposal to urge rural women to stay in their hometowns and marry local bachelors sparked a firestorm of criticism online.