A video advertisement urging young adults to marry in order to show filial piety has ignited strong opposition among Chinese Internet users, which has already been tagged as propagating improper traditional values that stifle individual freedom.
In an online vote on the Chinese social networking site Sina Weibo, 19,726 people voiced their objection to the Baihe.com advertisement, one of China's largest online match-making websites, in a landslide victory over the 807 people who supported it.
The advertisement features a young lady, who, after being badgered by her grandmother to get married, rushes to find a partner on the popular dating website, and the couple, wearing their wedding outfits, visit the elderly woman so as to settle her concerns. The picture does not include the groom's face as if he is not important, indicating the grandmother's inner peace is the real priority.
One Sina Weibo user, Chai Jinning, posted on his account that the advertisement should be removed and that a public apology from the dating website was in order. He also called for those who felt the same way to forward his post. As a result, his post was forwarded 22,596 times, receiving 5,424 likes.
A Weibo account called "Women Awakening" said, "Lines in the advertisement including 'I will definitely get married within the year, even for my grandma' downplays the importance of personal independence and freedom of choice."
The following is the outline from the advertisement video:
"I must go into a marriage even for my grandmother (who is seriously ill) this year," a young woman said to herself at the beginning of the video.
She recalled different scenes since graduating from her university, which shows her grandmother asking her the same question, "Are you married?"
Since it is her grandmother's big wish since the young woman first discovered she was ill, the young woman finally makes the decision to get married.
She tells herself that she can't be picky any more.
Once she got married, she visited her grandmother while wearing her wedding dress