Anont Rotthong, 58, has had very little sleep these past few days. The Thai durian seller has been fielding thousands of telephone calls from interested suitors responding to his online advertisement offering his youngest daughter’s hand in marriage. The perfect son-in-law will gain her love, 10 million baht (US$313,500) and a chance to take over his thriving business, he promised. But Anont has a strict set of criteria for the preferred candidate: he must be a man who is hardworking, thrifty, does not smoke or gamble, aged 26-40 and be willing to learn all he can about the durian trade. The father of four is particularly partial to men from China, as he has his eye on breaking into the lucrative Chinese market – which has grown to become one of Thailand’s biggest export markets in recent years. In the Facebook post, Anont indicated he was not fussy about the suitor’s education level. “No need to show me your university degree,” he wrote on Saturday, in a message that quickly went viral. “He can’t be lazy and he should not know how to spend money so as to save it. All these for 10 million baht and 10 pickup trucks that he can use to start in the durian business.” Chinese consumers snap up 80,000 durians after Alibaba signs 3 billion yuan food deal with Thai government The daughter in question, Kansita Rotthong, is an honours graduate from Bangkok’s Assumption University who holds a Chinese-language diploma from Sun Yat-sen University in Guangzhou. She used to date a Chinese man for two years, but “because of distance, it didn’t work out”. Kansita initially thought her father was joking when he brought up the issue. “I stopped laughing after the story went viral,” she said in a television interview on Monday. The father’s desperate attempt to find his daughter a husband has attracted sharp criticism online. One user on Facebook wrote: “You will get those who only want your money.” Another commenter stated: “Your effort will make people think your daughter can’t find love on her own. I want her to find love not someone who will turn her into a fool.” Anont admitted the advertisement has also become a thorn in his wife’s side: “My wife is very unhappy at the moment. She said she doesn’t want her daughter to look like she’s unwanted.” China’s insatiable appetite for durian swallows Malaysian tribal lands But Anont, who has worked in the durian business since the age of 17, is determined. He has been snacking on – what else – durian to remain upbeat while screening prospective applicants. “The reason durian is called the ‘king of fruits’ is because it’s so good,” Anont said. “I have received thousands of telephone calls but when I eat durian in between, I don’t feel so tired.” Anont has three durian markets in Chanthaburi province in the east, Chumphon province in the south where his family is based, and Yala in the deep south. The ideal match must agree to work in one of them, and if “they are meant to be together, my daughter can get married to him”. Anont said he sells “hundreds of tonnes of durian within Thailand. I want to find someone to help me and carry on the business because I’m getting older but there’s more work every day”. “I also don’t care about his looks. I know how to judge people,” he said. He has invited interested parties to come meet him in Chanthaburi, where he will travel to on April 1 to buy the prickly fruit. But 26-year-old Kansita, who is single, has other ideas about her life. “Now that the story is everywhere, I am starting to disagree with my father somewhat, because ultimately, it’s up to me to choose the man. “He doesn’t have to be in the durian business like my father wants, but he must be a good man,” she said. “I always take my time in being with someone. In terms of wealth, for example, there should not be so much gap between us. But other than that, I have to see for myself.” Chinese men may still have hope yet, however. “I think Chinese men are more hardworking compared to Thai men,” she said.