An old Jewish joke says that modern society is based on the ideas of three old men: Marx said "Everything is about Money". Freud said "Everything is about Sex". Then, Einstein arrived and concluded that "Everything is Relative".
The Chinese economy has slowed down dramatically over the past six months and demand for real estate in China's major cities declined sharply. Concurrently, new data has been published about the disparity between China's male and female citizens and the subsequent troubles Chinese men face when trying to find a wife. Now, a local Real Estate Developer is trying to strike a new balance between Marx and Freud in order to get the market going again.
Jin Tai Cheng, a Beijing company, is offering a creative solution for prospective buyers at its "Ecological Bay" Villa project. The company encourages future homeowners to date its sales girls and promises a wedding present of RMB 60,000 to any couple that ends up getting married. The official story is that the company lured the sales ladies with a commitment to pay 8% in sales commissions as well as the opportunity to strike gold by securing a wealthy husband.
However, a local Real Estate executive I spoke to pointed out that the girls on offer are not that attractive. His theory is that the developer is not making money on selling apartments and so it signed a deal with a matchmaking agency to mary these "unwanted" girls to rich husbands. In return, the developer will receive much more than RMB 60,000 for every girl they manage to "give away". This way, the girls don't lose face by putting themselves on sale, the husbands don't lose face by going directly to an agency to look for a bride, and the developer makes a nice profit. In a country with too many apartments and not enough girls, this doesn't sound like a bad idea.
More information about the project and a gallery of sales girls still in the market is available on Soufun.com.