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March 27, 2013

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Credit system to rein in matchmaking agencies

THE Shanghai Matchmaking Association said yesterday that it will start establishing a credit system this year to regulate agencies involved in fraud and fabricating information.

In a recent case, a Shanghai postgraduate woman met her partner, who claimed to be a chairman of a public listed company, on, one of the leading matchmaking websites.

She later found out he was a married farmer, who had also swindled her out of 100,000 yuan (US$16,129). Pregnant by his child, she demanded 500,000 yuan as compensation from the website and asked the Chaoyang District People's Court in Beijing to rule one of Baihe's clauses "unable to verify members' marital status" as invalid.

The court has not delivered a verdict yet. Baihe argued it had no access to the civil affairs authorities' marriage registration data base.

A large number of members do not provide their real information while registering with the websites, which is the biggest problem, Tian Fanjiang, Baihe's CEO said.

The Shanghai Matchmaking Association drew more than 70 complaints last year. Some of the matchmaking agencies hired "professionals" who pretended to be super rich and swindled those who sought a partner.

Zhou Juemin, director of the association, said agencies found with irregularities will be given a chance to improve first, failing which they will be blacklisted.

Experts said young women who prefer men much older than them are particularly vulnerable to scams.


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