Fewer Shenzhen women are marrying Hong Kong men, as they believe they are unfaithful. The women also cite the long wait for permission to enter the SAR and the gap in living standards between the two cities. A survey of Shenzhen women by the South China Morning Post found most believed these three factors posed the biggest hurdles to cross-border marriages. 'Why should we marry Hong Kong men?' asked Fang Fangzhang, 24, from Shenzhen, who works as a clerk in a government department. 'In the 1980s, you were considered lucky to hook a Hong Kong man because he had a higher standard of living. But life in Hong Kong now seems very hard compared with life in Shenzhen. 'Besides, the men that come here are the poorer bunch and seem to be out only to have some fun.' For Hong Kong men, the challenge of maintaining long-distance relationships and the time Shenzhen women have to wait to enter the SAR are the key reasons they prefer to marry women from the territory. Figures from Shenzhen's Civil Affairs Bureau showed the number of cross-border marriages had declined from a peak of 1,069 in 1988 to 415 up to the end of November 1998. Women from outside Guangdong living in Shenzhen seem less cautious about dating Hong Kong men. But their financial situation and education play a key part in whether they consider this option. Better-educated women with good jobs and a decent standard of living were less willing to consider dating Hong Kong men. The survey found women from outside Guangdong tended to work for relatively low wages, mostly as waitresses or hotel staff, and generally sent money home to support families in the countryside, while Shenzhen women had more disposable income. But some women from other provinces said they were not drawn to relationships with Hong Kong men. Sandy Zhang from Ningbo, a waitress at the Shenzhen Shangri-La, said: 'Our cultural backgrounds are so different. The visa processing time is so long. 'I only need to look at my older sister, who married a Hong Kong man and is still waiting for a visa after six years, to know I don't want to go through the same pain.'