Chinese Dating Shows Offer Viewers More Than Just Romance

The popular genre has become a means for young audiences to take notes on relationships and life advice.

Dating shows aren’t just a guilty pleasure for Chinese audiences — for many they also serve as a guidebook on relationships. It’s a fact that domestic streaming platforms are more than aware of.

Dozens of shows that follow the tried and tested formula of rounding up a motley crew of singles — from middle-aged female celebrities to divorcees wanting to start over — eager to find love have blossomed on platforms such as Mango TV, Tencent Video, and Bilibili. Last week, streaming giant iQiyi announced a new dating show titled “My Best Friend’s Love,” in addition to its roster of existing dating series “I Like You Me Too” and “The Secret X.”

Such shows are increasingly attracting young, single women in first and second-tier cities who aren’t yet ready to commit or settle down but crave romance, according to Hu Yuxin, a senior analyst of interactive entertainment center at market research firm Analysys. Hu said dating shows have “grown in multiple dimensions” over the years thanks to burgeoning demand.

“Viewers also see them as ‘textbooks’ where they can learn about psychology theories and interpersonal skills,” Hu told Sixth Tone, referring to guest commentaries that are a staple of Chinese dating shows. “Dating shows fall in the category of emotional variety shows.” Continue to read the full article here

– This article originally appeared on Sixth Tone.