Beijing: Vietnam`s mail-order bride business is booming, fuelled by surging demand from Chinese men who have given up hope of finding a wife due to growing gender gap in the country.
Though international marriage agencies are officially illegal, loopholes in China have allowed the industry to flourish, a newspaper reported on Tuesday.
For a group purchase price of 30,000 to 40,000 yuan (USD 4,727 - USD 6,303), an attractive Vietnamese bride aged between 18 and 25 can be "bought" from a marriage agency based in China`s Yunnan Province, which regularly posts online advertisements, it said.
The agency is registered as a Chinese dating service in the provincial capital Kunming and organises group tours to Vietnam for single Chinese men and arranges dates for them with Vietnamese women selected from a catalogue as a possible mate for marriage.
The cost of the tour includes travel expenses, translation services, gifts for the women`s families and the wedding ceremony.
They also assume responsibility for finding clients a new bride if the first one flees after the wedding, according to a report by a newspaper.
"We`re gathering Chinese clients for group tours to Vietnam to arrange dating activities, not group purchasing. More than 80 per cent of clients find brides," an agency employee told a newspaper.
"All prospective brides who participate in the dates are willing to marry a Chinese suitor. Those who do tie the knot enter China with all legal documents, including a Vietnamese passport, a valid tourist visa and a health certificate," it said.
Like all foreigners with a Chinese husband or wife, permanent residency in China can be obtained after five years of marriage.
Chinese men opted to marry Vietnamese brides because of growing sex ratio in China increasing the gender gap.
According to 2010 Census figures, China`s sex ratio at birth was 118 males for every 100 females. The number of males for every hundred females has risen consistently every decade from 108 in 1982, 111 in 1990 and 116 in 2000.