• Sat
  • Apr 19, 2014
  • Updated: 6:47pm
NewsHong Kong
SOCIETY

Increasing numbers of Hong Kong women finding love over the border

A growing number of educated and wealthy women are marrying mainlanders - and challenging ideas about cross-border unions

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 21 August, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 21 August, 2013, 10:01am
 

Poll

  • Yes: 88%
  • No: 12%
21 Aug 2013
  • Yes
  • No
Total number of votes recorded: 292

Well-educated and high-achieving Hong Kong women are marrying mainland men in increasing numbers, helping to push up the number of such couples threefold in the past decade.

Census and Statistics Department figures show that 6,785 Hong Kong women married someone from across the border last year, up from 2,407 in 2003.

And a survey has shown that many had what are known as the "three highs" - education, a senior position at work, and high income.

The results challenge perceptions most cross-border marriages are among low-income groups.

Despite the increase, however, such marriages still account for only about 25 per cent of cross-border couples.

The increase on the other side of the equation has been much smaller, with annual marriages between Hong Kong men and mainland women increasing only 14 per cent in the past 10 years from about 17,000 in 2003 to 20,000 last year.

Principal researcher at the Hong Kong Ideas Centre, Elvis Luk Wai-ki, who conducted the survey, said many of the local women who married mainlanders were women labelled as "the three highs".

"They have a higher education degree, high positions, and high income," Luk said.

Immigration Department statistics show the average age gap between Hong Kong wives and their mainland husbands is less than a year.

Cantonese was the "official language" for such families. "Mainland husbands choose to learn Cantonese for their wives most of the time," Luk said.

The survey polled 510 people who married someone across the border after 2003 and whose households had a monthly income of over HK$25,000. The survey took the form of interviews with nine government professionals, social service groups and matchmaking companies.

Senior consultant Terry Shum, from Agape Matchmaking and Consulting, one of the consultants involved in the survey, said Hong Kong women's impression of mainland men had improved in the past few years, especially of men dubbed "Hong Kong wanderers" - mainlanders working and living in Hong Kong.

Since the handover, more than 388,000 cross-border couples have married in either Hong Kong or on the mainland, which accounted for 16 per cent of the total number of households in Hong Kong.

Cross-border marriages used to be seen as a social problem in Hong Kong, said Anna Lai Wong Oi-ling, executive director of the ideas centre's policy research centre.

"Most cross-border couples were from grass-roots families in the past. Hongkongers had very bad impressions of cross-border marriage," she said, adding that they were often associated with social problems such as family violence and sham marriages.

Over the past 10 years the centre has seen an increasing number of middle-class cross-border couples, Lai said.

Seventy-six per cent of the cross-border couples questioned in the survey said tension between the mainland and Hong Kong was not serious.

 

Share

10

This article is now closed to comments

Shadow
This marriage mostly for high price trading to help the guy or girl from other side for hkic
tomonday
good to hear, most males in HK now days just complain and protest and don't have a clue about what works and don't. looks like HK future are from the mainland too
impala
Ms Chen, your statistics are so flawed that I wonder if you can count to 10 at all.

1. You all but ignore the most stunning fact: that there are 3x (!) as many HK men marrying mainland women as there are HK women marrying mainland men. How? Why? Report please!

2. You then only mention in passing another stunning fact: the tripling (!) in 10 years of the number of HK women marrying mainland men. Why?!

3. Instead, you come with an angle for your story that does not hold up to scrutiny of what you state in your very article. You claim that the level of highly educated, highly placed and highly paid women marrying cross-border is going up.

[The survey polled 510 people who married someone across the border after 2003 and whose households had a monthly income of over HK$25,000.]

So firstly, the survey has looked at couples that married in the past 10 years. How do you derive there is a trend from that? Did you compare with pre-2003 couples? Did it show that the couples married between 2003-2008 were poorer (then!) than 2008-2012 couples? If so, by how much? Did the survey look at current income or income back then? Did it adjust for overall income growth between 2003-2013 (2003 med household income: $15.7k. Now: $22k, +40%).

Then, the selection bias. The survey only looked at couples with >25k in income. That rules out the bottom 60% of Hong Kong households. And on this you base a conclusion that more wealthy women are marrying mainlanders?! Speechless.
lucifer
I don't think this reporting is accurate. Most of the women who are marrying Mainland men seem to be from NT, TSW and other boarder districts with large amounts of Mainland families. HK is more than just a place to live, for many its an insurance card shoudl things in China go the wrong way. i think it would take a lot to compel educated HK'ers to marry, live and raise families accross the border. After all, apart from the langauge and some aspects of culture, everything is different and the palce is a diry, corrupt cesspool. You really take you chances committing yourself that much to the Mainland when you don't have to. Why do you think so many Mainlanders opt to leave if they can? Perhaps these women are just double parked on life...who knows....
chaz_hen
"...many of the local women who married mainlanders were women labelled as "the three highs": They have a higher education degree, high positions, and high income," Luk said."
I think the writer forgot the fourth high that these HK ladies have: A pathway to a HK permanent ID card and even possibly foreign citizenship.
lucifer
I think you have it backwards....you mean men....
ninacheung
Must be those mainland men also have at least one "high", namely, high income. Doesn't matter if the hubby speaks Cantonese with a bit of a mainland accent, as long as he has thick wallet and is not opposed to opening it wide at LV or Gucci shop...
daily
Another reason is that the quality of local HK men ranging from early 20's to late 30's have deteriorated substantially.........look around us and all you see are young men playing with their phones and video games and completely isolated from the real world.......they have no interpersonal skills, cannot communicate with the opposite sex and are completely immersed into the video games world...............Why would any normal women want a man from HK............HK men are of extreme low quality and lack character and charisma...............
donniemcm
The opposite is true with HK women.
lucifer
This is totally true! Blowing off school for a job in a t-shirt shop seems to be the fare of the day...

Login

SCMP.com Account

or