Fei Cheng Wu Rao: China's Hottest Dating Show

Everything You Need to Know About This Chinese Dating Show

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Jiangsu Satellite TV

Fei Cheng Wu Rao (非诚勿扰) is a television dating game show on Jiangsu Satellite Television, one of China's most popular TV networks. The show's title, directly translated to "if you're not serious, then don't bother me," reflects the direct and to-the-point attitude that has made the program so popular since it first debuted in early 2010. Fei Cheng Wu Rao is hosted by Meng Fei. He was relatively unknown when the show first aired but has now become a household name.

 

Be careful not to confuse this show with If You Are The One, which is a film directed by Feng Xiaogang that shares the TV show's title in Chinese, but is not actually related to the show in any way.

The Format of the Show

Single men appear one by one on stage before a group of 24 women, each standing behind a podium with a light on it. More or less immediately, the man picks one of them in secret that appeals to him. Then, through conversation with the show's host and a series of videos including interviews with his friends, family, and coworkers, the man reveals more about himself, his life, and what he's looking for in a mate. 

At any point, if a woman decides she's not interested in him, she can turn off the light on her podium which triggers a heart-sinking electronic pulse sound to communicate her rejection. Ugly, or otherwise unappealing, guys are often rejected by most or all of the women quite quickly.

But if the man is especially dreamy, women can also choose to activate a "blast light" that shows their strong interest in him.

Once the bachelor has finished being introduced, if there are more than two lights on, he must walk up to the podiums and turn lights off for the women he isn't interested in until only two are left.

Then, he gets to ask those two women questions. After that, he can choose to date one of them or make an offer to date whatever girl he chose at the beginning, even if she turned her light off. However, this is considered a risky move as she may still reject his offer.

Why Is It So Popular?

The format of Fei Cheng Wu Rao is itself entertaining, but the show's popularity stems mostly from the conversations that are had onstage. The producers generally choose men who are interesting in one way or another, and the often frank and humorous banter between these guests and host Meng Fei is quite amusing.  

But this Chinese dating show is also popular because it taps into young Chinese people's attitudes about dating and sex. For a while after its debut, the show made no attempt to hide some of its contestants' mercenary attitudes towards dating. The show featured young people talking extremely bluntly about what they wanted in a potential mate and what they didn't, and some of them were quite cruel.

Fei Cheng Wu Rao made headlines around the world after a 20-year-old female contestant famously rejected a man who asked her if she'd go bike riding with him on a date, to which she replied: "I'd rather cry in a BMW [than laugh on a bicycle]."

Government Adjustments

The "BMW" incident and a number of other high-profile stunts on the show, many of which revolved around the male contestants' wealth or lack thereof eventually led to government intervention. Authorities were concerned that the Chinese dating show was promoting the wrong values, and its producers were instructed to de-emphasize money and sex in the show's discussions and tone down the insults and cruelty. Government authorities also added a psychology teacher as another host to ensure that things wouldn't veer too far off track.

The Show Today

Since then, Fei Cheng Wu Rao has been tamer, but that hasn't curbed its popularity much as it remains China's top dating game show. Episodes of the show from the first half of 2013, for example, racked up more than 8 million plays on Youku, one of China's online video streaming websites.

Viewers in China can stream the show online or just catch it when it's on TV. Outside China, the show is also broadcast with subtitles in Australia.

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Custer, Charles. "Fei Cheng Wu Rao: China's Hottest Dating Show." ThoughtCo, Jul. 31, 2017, thoughtco.com/fei-cheng-wu-rao-687341. Custer, Charles. (2017, July 31). Fei Cheng Wu Rao: China's Hottest Dating Show. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/fei-cheng-wu-rao-687341 Custer, Charles. "Fei Cheng Wu Rao: China's Hottest Dating Show." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/fei-cheng-wu-rao-687341 (accessed November 18, 2017).