That’s right: in China, if you're 30, female and single, you’re considered well and truly on the shelf.'I always dread Chinese New Year,’ says Yang Ziyang, a 32-year-old talent agent earning in excess of one million RMB (£100,000) a year, 'because that’s when my extended family come over to the house and they all want to know why I’m not married yet.
According to Forbes magazine, 11 of the 20 richest self-made women in the world are Chinese, and now 19 per cent of Chinese women in management positions are CEOs, the second highest percentage worldwide (after Thailand’s 30 per cent).
In fact, so undeniable is the rise of women in China that there is even a phrase for their sudden blossoming: ) is on the way down.
But there’s one thing that’s holding them back – and even making them ditch their careers altogether – and that’s the fear of being single.
I tell them it’s because I have standards that I’m not willing to lower.’ Touching an expensive-looking bangle on her wrist, she goes on, 'I think my parents understand a bit more – they just want me to be happy – but my aunties always say things like, “Oh, do you remember that girl you went to school with? ” It's very frustrating.’ Wu Manling, 30 and a magazine editor, agrees.
'My mother tried to have a serious talk about me being “leftover” a while ago.