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China’s Modern Day Dowry Map

A less-than-scientific look at dowry costs in China

06·05·2013

China’s Modern Day Dowry Map

A less-than-scientific look at dowry costs in China

06·05·2013

A “China’s Map of Dowry” 全国聘礼地图 (quánguó pìnlǐ dìtú) went viral on Sina Weibo. 聘礼 (pìnlǐ) is the dowry given by the groom’s family to the bride’s family. The opposite term is 嫁妆 (jiàzhuāng), the dowry given to the bride by the bride’s family to bring into her new family. Posted by重庆新浪乐居, it marked the dowry (groom to bride) amounts for the provinces and municipalities in China. The entire country is classified into 5 zones: the million yuan zone, the half a million yuan zone, the 100 thousand yuan zone, the 10 thousand yuan zone, and the zero yuan zone.

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The Million Yuan Dowry Zone consists of Shanghai and Tianjin, where the amount required starts at ¥100,000 and ¥60,000 respectively, with an apartment/house.

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The Half A Million Yuan Dowry Zone includes the three provinces of Dongbei, Jiangxi, and Qinghai. The typical dowry in Dongbei is ¥68,000, 3 Golds (gold earrings, gold necklaces, and gold bracelets), ¥9,999 of 改口费 (a hongbao for in-laws to symbolize the day they’re called mom and dad), and an apartment. For the other two provinces, the dowry is also an amount of money and an apartment.

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The 100 Thousand Yuan Dowry Zone has three provinces: Shandong, Hunan, and Zhejiang. A Shandong dowry requires 100 RMB notes that weigh 3 jin. In Hunan, the dowry starts at ¥50,000 and one car. The Zhejing rural area’s dowry is ¥100,000, while its urban area’s is over ¥150,000.

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The 10 Thousand Yuan Dowry Zone includes basically the rest of China, except for Chongqing, which was in the 0 Yuan Zone and was probably done so because the account that posted the map is a real estate company in Chongqing. Inner Mongolia’s typical dowry stands out with ¥8,888, a herd of animals at a number that is the multiple of 9, a cabinet, and 3 Golds. Guizhou asks for electronics and a four piece set. Beijing’s dowry is surprisingly modest, which starts at ¥10,001, 2 boxes of Daoxiangcun snacks, 2 bottles of Mao Tai, 2 boxes of tea, and 2 boxes of fruit.

The Huffington Post reported at the beginning of this year that a Chinese father gave his daughter and her husband a dowry worth $150 million, including gold jewelry, cash, stocks, a Porsche and a Mercedes, a retail store, and a mansion. The map and its numbers may not be scientific or comprehensive, but it does show how expensive wedding dowries have become in China. In addition to cash, an apartment/house is essential in getting a bride’s hand.