More than 300 women took part in a matchmaking competition in the southern city of Guangzhou at the weekend for the chance to marry one of 11 billionaires.
Hundreds of women apply for chance to wed wealth.[ Photo/ Sohu.com]
The women had been selected from a total of 2,800, aged from 19 to 56, who had applied to take part in the event, the Yangcheng Evening News reported yesterday.
But most didn't qualify as they failed to meet requirements which included being aged from 18 to 28, taller than 160 centimeters, good looking and, as some of the billionaires had required, be virgins.
Organizers of the event, a matchmaking company describing itself as a "single men's club," told the newspaper that similar events would be held in nine other cities, including Shanghai, Shenzhen and Nanjing. Eventually only 28 women will make it through to a final selection round.
The event stirred a huge wave of controversy across the Internet with many people wondering if it was just a publicity stunt for the matchmaking company.
"Are they just cheating the hearts of those innocent women to boost the fame of a matchmaking company behind the invisible billionaires?" was a common sentiment on microblog site Weibo.
In the Guangzhou competition, 320 women took part in several rounds where they were judged on their appearance, educational background and personality.
In one round, the women were asked general knowledge questions such as "Which country gave the Statue of Liberty to the US?" In another they were asked to recite ancient Chinese poems, the newspaper said.
The women were also checked by a surgeon to see whether they had plastic surgery because the billionaires were said to prefer natural beauty, it reported.
But many women complained that they didn't meet, or even see, the billionaires who might be their future husbands.
Competition organizers told the newspaper that the 28 women who made it through to the final round in June would meet the billionaires during a two-day party at a luxury resort in Guangdong Province.
"I would be lying if I said that I may fall in love with a 50-year-old rich man," one of the women who took part in Sunday's event told the newspaper. "Obviously I will fall in love with the money he has."
Another woman said: "It's understandable that we are lining up to be selected by the rich men. If I had so much money, I would select a partner among a group of men candidates too."
Some women told the newspaper that they wanted to be married to rich men because a wealthy husband would guarantee a better life for their parents, their children and themselves.