I was on my way to visit some museums in Shanghai when I passed through People's Park. There were a ridiculous number of people packed there, nearly all middle-aged or older. I wondered if there was some sort of exercise activity or performance going on there. Then I saw a man wearing a sign around his neck like a political prisoner or something, but the sign actually had information about his adult son. What was going on?
It turns out that this is where all the parents come together to look for matches for their kids! (There are also some folks who are looking for themselves.) There's a special area for older folks, and there's an "overseas corner".
Each parent sits there with a sign with their son or daughter's year of birth, height, job, and sometimes salary. A few have pictures. In China, another important stat is your hukou, or city of residence registration (sort of an internal passport and immigration system). Some signs advertise that their kids have a car, or that they have a house in a nice area, both highly-sought prerequisites among the middle class these days.
I overheard a conversation where one mother said to another (in Shangahainese):
*sigh* Kids these days don't even want you to look for them. I had to sneak over here! They'd raise such a fuss if they found out. But what else are we gonna do, right?