#1Feb 14th, 2010
Chinese Millionaires Send Out Scouts For Love
9:10pm UK, Friday February 12, 2010
Peter Sharp, Beijing correspondent
What to do for the Chinese millionaire who has everything but the girl this Valentine's Day? Hire a "love scout".
In the mood for love: China has more than 600 single millionaires
Nearly 100 matchmaking agencies across China have deployed a small army of "scouts" to chat up attractive single girls for their millionaire customers.
Yang Jing is head of the "love hunt" department of the Beijing branch of a Shanghai matchmakers.
She stakes out the entrance to a downtown subway and scans the crowd heading to work.
"Our basic requirement is that the girl should be taller than 163cm, single, well-educated and fuelled with specific temperaments," she said.
But she admits that getting the right girl to disclose the right information is not easy.
After two hours checking out the commuters, Jing found only two women "fuelled with specific temperaments" who met her high standards and both were married.
It is estimated there are more than 600 single millionaires in China.
A 43-year-old eligible bachelor called Ma told the China Daily: "I am just too busy to find a girlfriend and my life cycle is very limited.
"Most of my friends are in business and it's very difficult to start a relationship."
Ma said he hoped that an agency could screen out those "gold diggers" who only wanted him for his money.
The older generation more used to looking for "Miss Right" rather than "Miss Right Now" is scathing.
"It is just a business and it will disturb the foundation of our society," said Renmin University professor Li Xia.
And for those that do find love but are burdened with the treasured mementoes of a previous relationship - get down to the 'Bank of Romance'.
Gong Yelong has opened a bank in Beijing where you can store the photographs, letters and toys from your ex-love to avoid embarrassing the new love of your life.
Since the bank opened 40 people, most of them women under the age of 30, have made a deposit.
But Yelong is unlikely to hit millionaire status with his business enterprise - he charges just a pound a month to store the items.