The number of marriages between Chinese people and foreigners is on the increase, but so too is the rate at which they are getting divorced.
The number of cross-cultural marriages in on the rise.
According to recent statistics from the Shanghai Civil Affairs Bureau, the number of intercultural marriages of Shanghai is rising steadily.
In 2006, 2,960 marriages involving Chinese nationals and foreigners were registered in Shanghai, up 22.97 percent on the previous year.
However, the number of mixed couples getting divorced in 2006 also increased to 355.
The figures showed that marriages had taken place between Chinese people and foreigners from 55 nations and regions. Chinese-Japanese and Chinese-Canadian pairings were found to be the most likely to end in divorce.
Although divorce has traditionally been discouraged in China, its incidence has risen rapidly since the 1980s. And with more and more mixed marriages ending in divorce, there is now a growing need for help and advice for those dealing with life after a failed marriage.
A web-based survey conducted by the Weiqing Divorcees Club found that many of its members had been in unhappy cross-cultural marriages.
"Loneliness, cultural differences and adapting to a new lifestyle were quoted as the main reasons for not being happy," the club's head Shu Xin said.
The club provides a range of services, such as helping with the divorce process and advising on the process of getting remarried. On a more positive note, it also gives lectures on how to make a success of cross-cultural marriages.
The Shanghai-based club claims to have about 1 million online members, most of whom come from major cities like Beijing and Shanghai. Almost 10 percent of its members are classed as foreigners, which encompasses expatriates, American-Chinese and those from Hong Kong, Taiwan and Macao.