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She was a private equity fund manager at the time – now she’s a venture capitalist – and he was an executive director of equity derivatives at Morgan Stanley.The charming, slightly geeky former investment banker might not seem like an obvious candidate to be a font of knowledge about the dating world, but he is an avid reader of psychology books and, as he says, “the stats never lie”.“They want to know from the very beginning, before they waste time, whether the husband and wife will manage the finances collectively, whether she has to live with her in-laws and whether he wants children and how many,” Li says.
He says that the better educated a woman is, and the more economically well off, the higher the standards she will set.
This is because the Chinese government aims to migrate an additional 250 million people from the countryside to the cities over the next decade – and he expects many of them to be potential customers.
China’s rising divorce rate is also driving business.
Zhenai has 50 matchmaking centres in 37 cities across China, and Li says he expects the company to generate 1.5 billion yuan in revenue and 200 million yuan in net profit this year.
Li is confident that the dating platform will continue to grow rapidly, at least for the next 10 years.
For women, salary doesn’t affect how many winks they receive – until they earn 50,000 yuan or more, when they see the number of winks tail off slightly.