Chinese Brides for Sale – What’s the Story?

If you’re interested in finding a Chinese wife then is it possible to actually buy a wife from China?

Of course the simple answer is – no, you can’t buy a Chinese wife!

It's not generally possible to go to China and buy a wife

It's not generally possible to go to China and buy a wife

That’s not to say that buying a wife doesn’t go on in China. There’s a shortage of women in China, and a certain amount of people trafficking does go on. Kidnappings do happen in China. By and large however, this people trafficking is normally taking place in the more rural provinces of China where it’s less likely for a Western man to find a bride from. The people trafficking is also primarily in very poor people from the areas bordering Vietnam, Burma and North Korea. It’s very unlikely that this type of Chinese woman would be suitable for the bride of a Western man anyway, the cultural differences are just too immense.

There are of course other barriers to buying a Chinese wife. It’s unlikely the US or other Western immigration authorities would allow you to bring a lady you’ve bought in China back to your own country. To get a visa for your new Chinese fiancé or wife you generally have to prove that you have met, and that you have a genuine relationship.

If you find your Chinese wife through a dating site then you shouldn’t have to pay for her. It’s worth bearing in mind that if you use a site like ChineseWomenDate or Chnlove then the lady might owe a success fee to the marriage agency that put her profile on the site. Remember that the contract is between the lady and the agency, and you’re not obliged to pay this fee. But if you want to prevent loss of face on the part of your lady then it’s often a good idea to pay something. $500 is normally a good ballpark figure.

If you are introduced to your prospective wife through a mutual friend then it’s also customary to give them a cash reward. Again, $500 – $1000 would probably be a good figure to get started on, but your prospective wife will be able to advise.

Bride Price

There is one aspect of Chinese culture that may appear to outsiders that a wife is being “bought”, and that is bride price. The prospective husband of the bride will normally pay some money to the family of the girl he wants to marry. How much depends on how wealthy he and his prospective bride’s family are, as well as other factors including the age of the bride and whether she’s been previously married. Maybe how attractive she is could be a factor as well.

Bride price is not unique to Chinese culture – it also happens in Thailand and Africa.

If you’re a Western guy thinking of marrying a Chinese girl then you’ll often be asked to respect this tradition. The money is put in a red envelope and given to the bride’s family.

How much is she worth? Your prospective Chinese bride is probably priceless

How much is she worth? Your prospective Chinese bride is probably priceless, but don't get carried away

One thing to be wary of is extortionate valuations being put on a prospective bride! Chinese people often have no idea what things cost in other countries. American men in particular are all considered to be incredibly wealthy. Of course, some Chinese people are also incredibly wealthy – there are maybe more millionaires in Shanghai than in any other city on earth. If you’re marrying into money then the price tag might be higher.

Unrealistic bride prices are nothing unusual in China. But if you’re hit with a bride price of $30,000 then she’d better be something special! Actually, if she’s above the age of 25 or has been married before or has children then be prepared to negotiate hard. I’d say a rough ballpark figure for a bride price of an average woman you’d meet on a Chinese personals site should be in the region of $500 – $1000. The one Chinese lady I’ve discussed this with came up with a figure of $400. I was perfectly happy to accept this figure.

It’s worth bearing in mind that under Chinese cultural traditions, you normally get given cash gifts at your wedding, so you’ll often get all the money back again (or at least enough to pay for the wedding banquet at the very least).

Of course once you marry a Chinese lady then you might get many more demands for money for her family. It’s best to sort out what sort of financial support you’ll be expected to pay her family before marriage. Most divorces involving Western men and Chinese women are caused by money issues – so don’t be afraid to ask some tough questions of your Chinese fiancé.

So that’s what’s involved in buying Chinese brides. Have you had unreasonable demands for money from the family of a Chinese lady you’re interested in? Leave comments below.

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