In the West, there are all kinds of matchmaking shows, such as Millionaire Matchmaker. In China, you would expect that TV shows would be more traditional and conservative. Well, not so much. The blind date shows started a few years ago and were very controversial. The Chinese government said they showed a very materialistic side of Chinese society; some participants were too obvious about targeting the candidate with the biggest apartment or most luxurious car.
The most popular of those shows is called 非诚勿扰, which translates directly to "If You Are the One." The presenters are two bold guys. A male candidate is in front of 24 girls. He needs to pick one among the 24 girls at end of the show.
They now have a new feature in their show, which focuses on overseas Chinese. Watching those candidates is really interesting. They grew up in the US or Australia, and speak Chinese as a second language. They often make mistakes and speak half in Chinese and half in English. However, it’s also interesting to see that many of those overseas Chinese are very “Chinese” when it comes to choosing their other half. They are very much influenced by their family’s point of view. Most of them bring their parents to the show, and sometimes even do music or dance performances with them.
Cultural differences play an important role in this kind of matchmaking show. The Chinese who have been living overseas for a long time are still looking for someone with the same culture background. For example, during an episode of a different matchmaking show, none of the girls chose the male candidate because his friends said he is not good at saving money.
In today’s busy life, we are more dependent on technology. We hardly have time to meet new friends. Life revolves more and more around “subway, sleep and work.” However, this phenomenon is taking place in every country, not only China.
All these above reasons do not mean that all the overseas born Chinese men look for only Chinese wives. However, there are definitely more overseas-born Chinese who come back to China to trace their Chinese roots.