Breaking Traditions: China’s Matchmaking Agency Introduces ‘Live-in Son-in-Law’ Service

In a bold move challenging traditional gender norms, a matchmaking agency in China, Jindianzi, has unveiled a unique service called the “live-in son-in-law.” The innovative offering, based in Hangzhou’s Xiaoshan district in Zhejiang province, is gaining attention on social media for its unconventional approach to marriage.

Under this service, men are encouraged to move into the homes of their wives, challenging the conventional practice of women leaving their families after marriage. The agency pairs single men with wealthy women, promoting a shift in the traditional gender roles. Notably, men taking part in this arrangement adopt the woman’s surname, breaking away from the customary practice of the woman adopting the man’s surname.

While this practice is already prevalent in Xiaoshan and has roots dating back decades, Jindianzi is spearheading a new campaign to “break the tradition of women marrying into men’s families.”

However, becoming a ‘live-in son-in-law’ comes with strict criteria. The prospective candidates must earn more than 100,000 yuan (US$14,000) annually, be taller than 170cm, possess a credit score of at least 560, and have no criminal record or tattoos. Additionally, lazy men are explicitly prohibited from applying for this unique service.

Li Jiyan, the founder of the agency since 1999, revealed that the registration fee for this distinctive matchmaking service is 15,000 yuan per person for a two-year period. With fierce competition, the agency receives 20 to 30 applications per day. However, Jiyan emphasizes that the agency is selective and does not welcome men who only want to “Tang Ping” or “lie flat,” a term referring to doing the bare minimum to get by.

The founder highlighted that an increasing number of men, including university undergraduates, are applying for the ‘live-in son-in-law’ service. State-owned company employees with steady jobs are reportedly among the most popular candidates.

While this unconventional service has triggered reactions, especially from men, on Chinese social media, it opens up discussions about challenging traditional gender roles and expectations in marriage.

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