by Patrick Lozada
Cities around China witnessed a dramatic increase in divorce rates after the central government announced the establishment of a 20 percent capital gains tax on married couples selling property on Friday.
One marriage center in Shanghai’s Zhabei district processed 53 divorces on Tuesday alone, or around one divorce every five minutes, while another center in Pudong witnessed lines trailing around the block. “We are badly exhausted,” the Zhabei center’s director, surnamed Yin, claimed. In Nanjing, the city recorded 294 divorces on Monday, double the usual figure.
Couples divorcing claimed that they suddenly “lacked mutual affection,” while others, including one pregnant woman, simply admitted that they were untying the knot to avoid property taxes. This is not the first time this has happened. Three years ago, new regulations by Chinese authorities that included limits on buying second homes prompted a similar rash of divorces, compounding a seven-year trend of steadily increasing divorce rates.
The real story here? This is the one time you can get divorced using the old “It’s not you, it’s the Chinese government” line.