Want to marry rich? Then the unlikely named Beijing Moral Education Centre for Women is for you!
For 30 hours of training costing $3,000, women keen to snag a billionaire, millionaire or even just an affluent man learn techniques to make them more attractive, from how to put on makeup in the most flattering way to how to spot a liar by looking at his facial expressions.
The school in the world's second largest economy -home to 189 billionaires and just under one million millionaires -has attracted over 2,800 mainly middle class women since it opened in August last year, and students such as 23-year-old Zhou Yue believe it's time and money well spent.
"My family had a business and there was a time when things were very difficult for us," she said in an interview. "During that period, I was struggling a lot inside, asking myself why we have to do this, why my childhood had to be so different from other people's. So I thought to myself, if I can marry a rich man, at least I won't have any worries."
Lily Bing, 28, said she hoped the training would translate into better prospects. Students are taught conversation skills, personality development and traditional tea-pouring techniques, which convey elegance.
"I hope that the standard of people I can come into contact with in the future will be higher, compared to before I took on these classes," she said.
"That is, those who have achieved a certain level of success and promotion in their career. So in this process, if I can get to know rich people, I think it could be helpful," Bing added.
The centre's founder, Shao Tong, also teaches at the school, focusing on pointing out how to decipher a man's character and personality.
She said the school was encouraging women to become the best they can be by giving them a goal that many in this rapidly developing country, with a huge increasingly affluent and aspiring middle class, strive for.
"We are nurturing internal qualities and developing potential. But if I were to advertise the school saying I would like to teach you how to build a good family and to better yourself, lots of girls would rule it out because they feel that they are agreeable and qualified enough," Tong said.
"So then I thought, why not be more straightforward by saying: do you want to marry a rich man?" Wealthy eligible bachelors have approached the school in search of soulmates, and can spend up to 30,000 yuan as an introductory fee.
In the past few months, the school says it has successfully matched 30 couples that resulted in marriage.
"By taking the classes at this school, women can raise their personal qualities -and perhaps better meet the expectations of men like us who are looking for a girlfriend or a companion," said Wen Wen, 32, currently dating one of the school's alumni.
Source: Ben Blanchard and Sabrina Mao, Reuters