China's dating TV show inspires copycat in Chicago

Updated: 2013-03-11 13:15

By Liu Yuhan in New York (China Daily)

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The student association has been posting photographs of some of this year's female participants online, including on Weibo, China's equivalent to Twitter, and, the Chinese version of Facebook.

"A simple nice picture of a female contestant, Yelin Zhou, has generated more than 1,000 views in a few days since we posted it," Xu says. "Other nice photos have also attracted quite some traffic."

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As a non-profit volunteer organization, the association raises money to provide food and entertainment for the contestants and audiences, and charges $2 for each of the 150 people who attend a show.

"As it gets more successful and gains more ground, sponsors have made offers before we ask them," Xu says.

One finalist this year is Tingting He, 34, from Milwaukee. She's an assistant professor of marketing at the University of Wisconsin. She has been in the US for more than 10 years, including six at Washington University in St Louis to get her PhD. She says she's participating in the speed-dating show because she's been alone for too long.

"I've been single during the six years while I was pursuing my PhD at my university, where there were only about 200 to 300 Chinese students," she says. "Now, as I'm getting older, fewer and fewer single men are still available."

"I'm old enough to know not to pin all my hope on the speed dating," she says, "but I'm willing to explore opportunities. Life is a journey, nobody knows what will happen next, so I'll cross my fingers."

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