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Audiences could also tune into shows imported from overseas, such as “Love Game,” a popular Taiwanese show that matched singles through three rounds of speed dating.

These new shows were ways for singles to get to know each other in a fun, flirty environment.

Meanwhile, the country’s 1980 marriage law codified, for the first time, freedom to marry and gender equality.

However, even in the wake of political change and globalization, many families still held the traditional Chinese belief that women, unlike men, belonged in the home, and that their parents had the final say over whom they could marry.

I’ve studied how traditional Chinese marriage rituals have evolved in response to globalization.

In many ways, dating shows became a powerful way to facilitate these changes.

Pan Wang does not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organisation that would benefit from this article, and has disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond their academic appointment.And for those who had little dating experience, it was a model for courtship; soon, the viewing public was able to reconceptualize ideas of love, relationships and marriage.At the same time, traditional courtship and marriage rituals were evaporating.For generations, marriage was arranged by parents who followed the principle of “matching doors and windows,” which meant that people needed to marry those of similar social and economic standing.Marriage was viewed as a contract between two households, and it was for the purpose of procreation, not love.

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