The price of love: Dowry map of China goes viral

The price of love: Dowry map of China goes viral

Staff Reporter

2013-06-08

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The map shows the different amounts of dowry money expected in different parts of the country. (Internet photo)

In traditional Chinese culture, a man must first provide a dowry to his wife’s family before getting married. The practice has persisted into the present day, and a map showing the average amount required in different parts of China has gone viral online, with many internet users saying that they cannot afford a wife, reports the Henan-based news website Dahe.

The Dowry Map of China divides the country into five zones in terms of the amount expected by a bride’s family — 1 million yuan (US$163,000), 500,000 yuan (US$80,750), 100,000 yuan (US$16,300), and 10,000 yuan (US$1,600), and zero yuan.The cities of Shanghai and Tianjin fall into the 1 million yuan (US$163,000) zone, the three provinces of northeastern China are within the 500,000 yuan (US$80,750) zone, while the provinces of Shandong, Hunan, and Zhejiang belong to the 100,000 yuan zone (US$16,300). Only Chongqing is classed as a zero yuan zone as the majority of residents do not ask for the money, according to the map’s creator.

“A Henan guy needs to have 60,000 yuan (US$9,000) to pay the betrothal money? That’s high,” said one internet user.

The maker of the map, surnamed Hu, and his team spent a month completing a survey by making calls and sending emails to more than 300 people across China, the report said.

Hu said that a man surnamed Zhu needed to borrow money from his relatives before he could pay his parents-in-law 800,000 yuan (US$13,000) after getting married in 2009. He added that many interviewees said the high amount of the money needed for the dowry comes from fears that the wife’s family may lose face if the money is less than their neighbors or relatives got.

A professor at Zhengzhou University in Henan said that in the past parents in China’s rural areas would hope to gain compensation for their financial losses in bringing up their daughter, as she would traditionally become part of her husband’s family. But the amount of the money has risen in recent years even though the custom has lost its original meaning, the report said.

About bambooinnovator
Kee Koon Boon (“KB”) is the co-founder and director of HERO Investment Management which provides specialized fund management and investment advisory services to the ARCHEA Asia HERO Innovators Fund (www.heroinnovator.com), the only Asian SMID-cap tech-focused fund in the industry. KB is an internationally featured investor rooted in the principles of value investing for over a decade as a fund manager and analyst in the Asian capital markets who started his career at a boutique hedge fund in Singapore where he was with the firm since 2002 and was also part of the core investment committee in significantly outperforming the index in the 10-year-plus-old flagship Asian fund. He was also the portfolio manager for Asia-Pacific equities at Korea’s largest mutual fund company. Prior to setting up the H.E.R.O. Innovators Fund, KB was the Chief Investment Officer & CEO of a Singapore Registered Fund Management Company (RFMC) where he is responsible for listed Asian equity investments. KB had taught accounting at the Singapore Management University (SMU) as a faculty member and also pioneered the 15-week course on Accounting Fraud in Asia as an official module at SMU. KB remains grateful and honored to be invited by Singapore’s financial regulator Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) to present to their top management team about implementing a world’s first fact-based forward-looking fraud detection framework to bring about benefits for the capital markets in Singapore and for the public and investment community. KB also served the community in sharing his insights in writing articles about value investing and corporate governance in the media that include Business Times, Straits Times, Jakarta Post, Manual of Ideas, Investopedia, TedXWallStreet. He had also presented in top investment, banking and finance conferences in America, Italy, Sydney, Cape Town, HK, China. He has trained CEOs, entrepreneurs, CFOs, management executives in business strategy & business model innovation in Singapore, HK and China.

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