Modern ‘meipo’ reveals the secrets to her personal touch

By The Beijing News - Globbal Times Source:Global Times-Agencies Published: 2015-12-21 18:13:01

Professional matchmaker Zhang Shijing Photo: CFP

Zhang Shijing probably would have never been noticed by the media if not for her job and profession. However, now that she's making headlines, she gets recognized just walking down the street or when taking a taxi.

Working for a marriage matchmaking website, Zhang is a "love hunter" - the modern version of the traditional meipo, or matchmaker. Every day, she shuffles through high-end shopping malls, salons, singles' parties... anywhere she has the biggest chance to find her prey - young, beautiful, educated women of refined disposition who, most importantly, are single. Finding these women, she introduces them to the custom-made services her company provides to its members.

Seeking Ms Right

If you see Zhang's eyes brighten after glancing around, it probably means she has discovered another target.  No matter how crowded the place, she still manages to lock in on the nearest "beauty" and take quick action.

Entering the matchmaking business two years ago, Zhang has gradually grown proficient in finding many different types of single women. She frequents places like Taikoo Li and Joy City, places she says are frequently visited by attractive women. Public holidays and Valentines' Day are especially good times for her to find the right targets. Based on her experiences, couples tend to spend time together during these holidays so if she sees two attractive women shopping together, there is an 80 percent chance that they are single.

Of course Zhang doesn't just go up to people and ask them if they want to get married. Knowing how guarded people tend to be towards strangers, Zhang understands the need to build trust.  For instance, if she sees an elegant woman heading towards the bathroom, Zhang makes sure to pass her some tissue paper and then quietly waits by the exit looking for an opportunity to chat with her when she comes out. 

"You're very pretty and elegant, the perfect fit for several of our customers," she says after introducing herself. According to her, few women have been able to resist wanting to know more.

With her main job being recruitment, sometimes her professional instincts end up interfering with her private life. For example, when shopping Zhang finds her attention constantly shifting from the items she's thinking about buying to all the potential clients she sees around her. Since women always have a lot to talk about when shopping, Zhang finds that it is very easy to build some trust in this environment.

The longer she worked in her job the more dissatisfied she became with just waiting for targets to pop up in a sea of people. She eventually began dressing up to join all kinds of salons, parties and social events where she could run into single women more easily. If she managed to get a new client after three hours of networking, she would consider the night a success.

On average she talks to about 30-40 single women every month. This far exceeds the monthly quota the company asks of each employee - the information of 10 women. With her several hundred female clients, Zhang is confident she can find the right match for her male clients.

A closer look

Her company first created the position of love hunter in response to male members' demand for more personally tailored services. Many eligible bachelors have registered on matchmaking site and when they choose personal services like finding partners that fit their likes and dislikes, it becomes time for Zhang to take action.

Finding potential women clients is just the first step of the process. After finding potential clients, Zhang then meets them again to better understand what they are looking for.

This face-to-face meeting is an important step for Zhang. In the past, she encountered situations where women contacted her to make use of her matchmaking services. However, she encountered too many situations where clients' photos of themselves were far from what they looked like in reality. As such Zhang decided that she would need to meet with each and every client so she could see them for herself. 

Zhang explained that experience has made it so she can judge a woman's tastes, lifestyle and character with just a glance at her bag, watch and clothing.

"If a girl from a working family in her early 20s carries a Hermés bag and drives a Range Rover, you start to to wonder how she's affording all that," Zhang told the Beijing News in an interview, adding that she takes her job very seriously.

"I don't introduce women like this to my male clients. Or at least I will tell him what I know about her before I introduce them."

After familiarizing herself with a woman's appearance and character, Zhang fills out a six-page client report that covers background information such as education, family, previous relationships, and event more detailed things such as the distance between her eyes and bra size.

For men, they have even more requirements. Male clients need to pay high membership fees and need to provide their ID card, diplomas, property ownership certificates and other material to prove their qualifications as potential mates.

Beyond the materialistic

Although everything may seem very analytical and materialistic, Zhang says that her job has allowed her to understand the essence of love.

Once an ordinary-looking girl who only earned about 5,000 yuan ($770) a month asked Zhang to find her a tall and handsome guy who earned a million yuan a year.

However, Zhang feels "true love has little to do with materialistic demands." In her opinion, people need to be very flexible when it comes to the criteria they set when looking for love. If they aren't willing to see past certain materialistic things, then that will only make things difficult for a relationship.

"When it comes to the wealthy, we only see a dazzling world of luxury and myriad temptations, but for many of them love and marriage is really tiring," Zhang said. Having been a love hunter for two years, she has come to understand the real luxury is "being in love with someone."

Newspaper headline: Hunting for love

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