CHENGDU - These days in China, marriage proposals are over-the-top and the richer you are the better it is. Last month, the spotlight was on 11 very rich men looking for wives, kicking off a high-profile search in ten major cities. Needless to say, the ladies the men were looking for had to notch very high scores on youth and beauty -- and virginity.

Now, it's time for the husband hunters: 36 Chinese women from Sichuan, each worth at least 10 million RMB ($1.5 million), who have published a collective spousal search advertisement, according to the Tianfu Morning Post.

The initial requirements for each of the male candidates might not surprise: they must be over 30 years of age, more than 168 cm (5ft6) tall, with at least a bachelor degree. But one criterion is certainly not Cosmopolitan magazine material: the eligible bachelor should also "not reject playing mahjong". These women who are either real estate tycoons, brand clothing entrepreneurs, or financial whizzes "have too much pressure from their daily work and enjoy playing mahjong to relax," according to staff from the Sichung dating website which is organising the husband hunting campaign.

Interested candidates have until mid-August to apply and will have to go through a series of six selection proceedings. The criteria to be evaluated are the man's appearance, his temperament, his culture and talent, his psychology and personality, his view of sentimental life as well as his family background. There will also be an analysis of his physiognomy, which i said to tell whether or not the man has a "face that brings his wife prosperity."

After what will no doubt be a colossal weeding-out process, the finalists have a romantic dinner on August 23, this year's Chinese Lover's Day, to test if both parties "click".

In China, single women of over 28 years old are delicately called "left-over women". The 36 rich women are aged between 28 and 49, though 80% of them have already had one marriage before so the report gracefully refers to them as "surviving combatants."

The organizer of the event boasts that "an endless stream of men have applied," including university professors, Chinese-American men, and successful men looking for a "wife of equivalent strength."  

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