Online Hui dating websites with the aim of helping Muslims find love across China have become increasingly popular as of recent.
iYuani.com, 2muslim.com aimu5.com represent three of the different online Hui dating sites that have been created over the past years. Foreign Policy describes the first website and shows how this new trend benefits the Chinese Muslims who seek love:
iYuani.com, a dating site whose name combines the Chinese words for “Islam” and “destiny,” and which boasts more than 13,000 registered users, features two default cartoon avatars. Males receive a bearded young man in a white cap, smiling confidently, while females get to use a demure young woman in a pink hijab and long-sleeved robe. Those wishing to register as new users are greeted with a warning that iYuani “is a serious, pure, sincere Muslim marriage/friendship site.” If a user is “not sincere,” the note respectfully asks them not to bother. But the profile photos on iYuani, almost two-thirds of which are men, tell a less traditional story […]. People appear heavily Sinicized. That’s because the site caters to Hui Muslims, many of whom are virtually indistinguishable in speech and dress from millions of ordinary young men and women in urban China.
That doesn’t mean they aren’t different: Many Hui still seek to marry within their ranks, despite the fact that they are widely dispersed across China, numbering only 10 million out of a population of 1.3 billion. But the Internet is coming to the rescue, as online Hui dating sites have arisen over the past few years to help some of China’s urban Muslims find their matches. “The Internet links major Hui communities in every city,” said Haiyun Ma, a professor at Frostburg State University in Maryland specializing in Muslims in China and a Hui Chinese himself. As a result, “it is easier for young Hui to find spouses” than it used to be.
Let’s hope the government doesn’t crackdown on these sites.
By Aliaume Leroy