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Wuhan is slowly getting back to normal with the city lockdown being lifted after two and a half months. (Picture: Hector Retamal/AFP)

Marriage registration app bogged down after Wuhan lockdown lifted

Alipay’s marriage application mini program sees a surge in users who had been waiting to get hitched

This article originally appeared on ABACUS
When Wuhan, the epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic, finally emerged from a 76-day lockdown on Wednesday, many of its citizens decided to mark the day with something special. A large number of users flooded the local online marriage application system, which is available to residents as a mini program within the payment app Alipay.
Unfortunately, the flood of romantics looking to get hitched nearly crashed the app. Alipay said in a post on microblogging platform Weibo that the system saw marriage applications jump 300% from the daily average in January and the first week of April. Applications were suspended in February and March. Alipay said on Twitter that it was surprised by the surge in users that slowed down the system but that the problem was now fixed.

(Abacus is a unit of the South China Morning Post, which is owned by Alibaba, an affiliate of Alipay owner Ant Financial.)

Not everyone discovered love during the strict quarantine period. China saw sharp increases in divorce rates while couples were forced to spend more time together while stuck at home or ended up trapped in different parts of the country because of the lockdown. But for those encouraged to pop the question as the spread of the virus eases in the country, Alipay said it also has a useful service for the next phase of the relationship: People can use a mini program to see what names are too common when looking for a unique name for their baby.

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