In China's Hebei province, a father desperate to find his 24-year-old son a wife gifted the young man the deeds to almost 20 commercial properties.
The father's actions sparked an online debate across the country about why the older Chinese generation is so determined to see their children marry and place such importance on property ownership.
News of the unnamed father and his generous gift came to light after a video of the encounter between him and a matchmaker at a spot dedicated for finding a spouse in Shijiazhuang, Hebei's capital city, went viral on Chinese social media.
Matchmaking corners, also known as marriage markets, are where parents meet with 'professional' matchmakers to discuss the attributes they are looking for in potential partners for their children, oftentimes doing whatever they can to 'promote' their child's worth.
Matchmaker Zhang filmed the encounter, where the anonymous father is seen opening a pink tote bag, displaying nearly 20 property deeds that he had bought for his son in an effort to make him appear more desirable and valuable.
Check out the video below.
In the video, the father can be heard telling Zhang that there are "just shy of 20 copies. All are commercial properties that are registered with house management bureaus."
"The father wasn't intending to show off, but he was keen to find a daughter-in-law from a family of equal status, and said that his son is a decent man and holds a very promising job", Zhang according to South Morning China Post.
After the father revealed the 20 property deeds to the matchmaker, Zhang assured him that he will do whatever he can to secure the right partner for his son.
The video, which has since gone viral since, sparked a major online debate amongst China's netizens, with some social media users addressing Chinese parents' uncontrolled and excessive need to involve themselves in their children's love lives.
Many commentators on Weibo demonstrated concern about the father's intentions.
"First of all, his son must be very bad; if he is good enough, why does he need this pile of real estate? Second, his family is really brave, they are not afraid of attracting money-obsessed gold diggers," one user said.
"How bad is his son?" Another user chimed in, "Do good guys really have this much difficulty finding a girlfriend?"
One Weibo user wanted to know what will happen to the deeds once the son marries. "Will the woman's name also be put on the copies after they marry?"
In February of this year, China's National Bureau of Statics released the census of last year's collected data, indicating that the gender ratio of China's population in 2021 was 723 million males to 689 million females, according to Statista.
The census data showed that the number of men in the marriageable age range of 20 to 40 was 20 million more than that of women.
In an effort to prevent a further decline in the population and balance the gender ratio, last year China initiated the Three-Child Policy to encourage citizens to have more children.
[Cover image via That's]