Chinese bar owner goes on rampage after parents pile on pressure to get married

  • Business and personal struggles got best of Hangzhou publican, and demands to find a nice girl and settle down led to trail of destruction and a bloody breakdown
PUBLISHED : Friday, 01 February, 2019, 1:00pm
UPDATED : Friday, 01 February, 2019, 10:25pm

A Chinese bar owner who smashed up his shop and public amenities in a drunken rampage this week claimed it was fuelled by his parents pestering him to get married.

Police from the Pengbu branch of Hangzhou, eastern Zhejiang province, arrested the 27-year-old, identified by his surname, Liu, after reports on Wednesday that someone had vandalised amenities around the city.

Officers arrived at a public toilet to find Liu with bleeding fists, surrounded by broken doors. He was detained and fined 10,000 yuan (US$1,486), newspaper  Dushi Kuaibao said.

Liu owns a bar in Pengbu district, and business has been poor since it opened six months ago. Even the arrival of the holiday season made no difference to Liu’s frame of mind, the report said.

Why young Chinese women won’t be rushed into marriage

Liu is not alone among men struggling in China’s competitive marriage market, where a decades-long one-child policy and sex-selective abortions of girls have resulted in a gender gap.

In 2017, there were 42 million more men than women in the country, according to the World Bank, making it increasingly difficult for men to find wives.

“Bride prices” – a form of dowry – have spiked, making it doubly difficult for low-earning Chinese men to find a mate.

Parental pressure for marriage tends to spike around Lunar New Year, when children return home from work or universities to celebrate. It is also a time for large family gatherings, where parents can face embarrassing questions about their children’s personal lives and prospects.

On Weibo, China’s microblogging platform, Liu’s personal predicament won him support.

“The main point here is the pressure to get married. The more pressure they give me, the more panicked I become. Then, I will start beating myself,” one user wrote.

China’s ageing society problem worsens as birth and marriage rates fall

“I feel like my parents are driving me crazy, too. I am only 24 and they set me up for dates every day,” another wrote.

“Parents keep rushing you so you marry the wrong person. When your marriage falls apart, they blame you again,” a third said.