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Last year Chengdu’s economy grew 15.2 per cent while the city’s New Century Global Centre, a commercial and leisure complex that will reputedly be the world’s largest stand-alone building, is set to open later this year.The Mediterranean-themed complex will reportedly boast two luxury 1,000-room hotels, hot springs, a marine park and its own artificial beach.So far around 1,500 men have signed up, including one Australian and several applicants from the US and Canada.UK-based graduates of “famous [British] universities” had also applied, he said.“They are not looking for toyboys,” said Mr Du, who is 45 and holds a Master’s degree in Engineering from the University of Minnesota but said he was happily married with two children.
Because they are very successful they also expect their husband to be at least as successful as they are.” Rebecca Chen, who at 29 is one of the youngest Chengdu-based millionaires to sign up for the project, said social norms also hampered a rich woman’s search for the perfect man.“Men have a much higher success rate [in finding love] and a much broader selection, since they can choose someone from a lower social group,” said Chen, whose family controls a Chengdu property and hotel empire.“For women, it is almost impossible to choose downwards — their family and friends would not approve and they would face many difficulties.” Mr Du’s hunt for eligible bachelors, a collaboration with Hong Kong-based dating agency Feng Qiu Huang, began on June 18 when he began taking online applications from across China and the world.“They are very busy, of course, so they don’t have much time to meet the ideal date.They are always surrounded by business people or customers so they don’t have much of a chance to meet good guys outside their [immediate] circles.” Wealthy women also faced prejudice from men of their own social class, he claimed.
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Phase two of the search will begin on July 20 when organisers start sifting through CVs and vetting the would-be husbands in a series of face-to-face meetings with relationship specialists and fortune-tellers in hotels around China.