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Chinese women choose single life as economy struggles



In a café nestled in the bustling city of Xian, freelance copywriter Chai Wanrou, 28, shares her views on marriage with conviction.

She’s among a growing number of young Chinese women who are choosing singledom, rejecting traditional societal expectations amidst economic uncertainty.

“Regardless of success or ordinariness, women still bear the brunt of sacrifices at home,” Chai Wanrou, a self-proclaimed feminist, expressed during an interview.

“Living my own life well is difficult enough nowadays,” she added, highlighting her disillusionment with the institution of marriage.

Chai’s sentiments echo a broader trend in China, where an increasing number of educated women are embracing “singleism,” rejecting the traditional trajectory of marriage and childbirth. This trend presents a challenge to the Chinese government, which has emphasised the importance of marriage and childbearing to address declining population rates.

Birth-friendly society

President Xi Jinping’s call for a “new culture of marriage and childbearing” and Premier Li Qiang’s pledge to create a “birth-friendly society” underscore the government’s concerns over demographic shifts. However, despite these efforts, the number of single individuals in China reached a record high of 239 million in 2021.

While marriage is still considered a significant milestone in Chinese society, the average age of first marriage has been steadily rising. Factors contributing to this shift include economic pressures, changing gender dynamics, and a perceived lack of suitable partners.

“Feminist activism is basically not allowed (in China), but refusing marriage and childbirth can be said to be … a form of non-violent disobedience towards the patriarchal state,” noted Lü Pin, a Chinese feminist activist based in the United States.

Online communities advocating for singleism have emerged, providing solidarity for individuals who reject traditional family structures. Social media platforms like Xiaohongshu and Douban host discussions on topics ranging from collective retirement plans to the challenges of finding compatible partners.


For many women, the decision to remain single is rooted in a desire for self-exploration, frustration with patriarchal family dynamics, and difficulty finding partners who value autonomy and equality.

“There’s an oversupply of highly educated women and not enough highly educated men,” explained Xiaoling Shu, a sociology professor at the University of California, Davis. Gender imbalances resulting from China’s previous one-child policy have further exacerbated this issue.

While the number of people choosing singledom may not grow exponentially, delayed marriages and declining fertility rates pose long-term challenges to China’s demographic goals.

“In the long run, women’s enthusiasm for marriage and childbirth will only continue to decrease,” warned feminist Lü Pin. “I believe this is the most important long-term crisis that China will face.”

As more Chinese women assert their independence through personal choices, the government may need to reconsider its approach to family policies and gender equality to address evolving societal norms.

Ahron Young is an award winning journalist who has covered major news events around the world. Ahron is the Managing Editor and Founder of TICKER NEWS.

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Research shows daters are looking for solvent partners



As the cost-of-living crisis continues to grip Australia, new research reveals a shifting landscape in the realm of dating preferences.

According to the survey conducted by eharmony, an overwhelming two-thirds of Australians are now keen to understand their potential partner’s financial situation before committing to a serious relationship.

The findings indicate a growing trend where individuals are becoming more discerning about whom they invest their affections in, particularly as the economic pressures intensify.

Read more: Why are car prices so high?

The study highlights that nearly half of respondents (48%) consider a potential partner’s debts and income as crucial factors in determining whether to pursue a relationship.

Certain types of debt, such as credit card debt, payday loans, and personal loans, are viewed unfavorably by the vast majority of respondents, signaling a preference for partners who exhibit financial responsibility.

Good debt

While certain forms of debt, such as mortgages and student loans (e.g., HECS), are deemed acceptable or even ‘good’ debt by a majority of respondents, credit card debt, payday loans (such as Afterpay), and personal loans top the list of ‘bad’ debt, with 82%, 78%, and 73% of respondents, respectively, expressing concerns.

Interestingly, even car loans are viewed unfavorably by a significant portion of those surveyed, with 57.5% considering them to be undesirable debt.

Sharon Draper, a relationship expert at eharmony, said the significance of financial compatibility in relationships, noting that discussions around money are increasingly taking place at earlier stages of dating.

“In the past, couples tended to avoid discussing money during the early stages of dating because it was regarded as rude and potentially off-putting,” Draper explains.

“However, understanding each other’s perspectives and habits around finances early on can be instrumental in assessing long-term compatibility.”

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US energy stocks surge amid economic growth and inflation fears



Investors are turning to U.S. energy shares in droves, capitalizing on surging oil prices and a resilient economy while seeking protection against looming inflationary pressures.

The S&P 500 energy sector has witnessed a remarkable ascent in 2024, boasting gains of approximately 17%, effectively doubling the broader index’s year-to-date performance.

This surge has intensified in recent weeks, propelling the energy sector to the forefront of the S&P 500’s top-performing sectors.

A significant catalyst driving this rally is the relentless rise in oil prices. U.S. crude has surged by 20% year-to-date, propelled by robust economic indicators in the United States and escalating tensions in the Middle East.

Investors are also turning to energy shares as a hedge against inflation, which has proven more persistent than anticipated, threatening to derail the broader market rally.

Ayako Yoshioka, senior portfolio manager at Wealth Enhancement Group, notes that having exposure to commodities can serve as a hedge against inflationary pressures, prompting many portfolios to overweight energy stocks.

Shell Service Station

Shell Service Station

Energy companies

This sentiment is underscored by the disciplined capital spending observed among energy companies, particularly oil majors such as Exxon Mobil and Chevron.

Among the standout performers within the energy sector this year are Marathon Petroleum, which has surged by 40%, and Valero Energy, up by an impressive 33%.

As the first-quarter earnings season kicks into high gear, with reports from major companies such as Netflix, Bank of America, and Procter & Gamble, investors will closely scrutinize economic indicators such as monthly U.S. retail sales to gauge consumer behavior amidst lingering inflation concerns.

The rally in energy stocks signals a broadening of the U.S. equities rally beyond growth and technology companies that dominated last year.

However, escalating inflation expectations and concerns about a hawkish Federal Reserve could dampen investors’ appetite for non-commodities-related sectors.

Peter Tuz, president of Chase Investment Counsel Corp., highlights investors’ focus on the robust economy amidst supply bottlenecks in commodities, especially oil.

This sentiment is echoed by strategists at Morgan Stanley and RBC Capital Markets, who maintain bullish calls on energy shares, citing heightened geopolitical risks and strong economic fundamentals.

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How Australians lose nearly $1 billion to card scammers in a year



A recent study by Finder has unveiled a distressing trend: Australians are hemorrhaging money to card scams at an alarming rate.

The survey, conducted among 1,039 participants, painted a grim picture, with 2.2 million individuals – roughly 11% of the population – falling prey to credit or debit card skimming in 2023 alone.

The financial toll of these scams is staggering. On average, victims lost $418 each, amounting to a colossal $930 million collectively across the country.

Rebecca Pike, a financial expert at Finder, underscored the correlation between the surge in digital transactions and the proliferation of sophisticated scams.

“Scammers are adapting, leveraging sophisticated tactics that often mimic trusted brands or exploit personal connections. With digital transactions on the rise, it’s imperative for consumers to remain vigilant and proactive in safeguarding their financial assets,” Pike said.

Read more – How Google is cracking down on scams

Concerning trend

Disturbingly, Finder’s research also revealed a concerning trend in underreporting.

Only 9% of scam victims reported the incident, while 1% remained oblivious to the fraudulent activity initially. Additionally, 1% of respondents discovered they were victims of bank card fraud only after the fact, highlighting the insidious nature of these schemes.

Pike urged consumers to exercise heightened scrutiny over their financial statements, recommending frequent monitoring for any unauthorised transactions.

She explained the importance of leveraging notification services offered by financial institutions to promptly identify and report suspicious activity.

“Early detection is key. If you notice any unfamiliar transactions, don’t hesitate to contact your bank immediately. Swift action can mitigate further unauthorised use of your card,” Pike advised, underscoring the critical role of proactive measures in combating card scams.

As Australians grapple with the escalating threat of card fraud, Pike’s counsel serves as a timely reminder of the necessity for heightened vigilance in an increasingly digitised financial landscape.

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