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HONG KONG (Reuters Life!) - Thousands of Chinese women are vying to attend a lavish ball in the southern boomtown of Shenzhen, lured by the dream of a possible fairytale match with a millionaire.
More than 7,000 women from all over the country are applying for one of just 40 tickets to attend China's version of Cinderella's ball, where several multi-millionaires will pay around $5,400 for the privilege of meeting them, the organizer of the event told Reuters.
"It's not just about the women finding their Prince Charming, but also the men finding their princess," said Cheng Yongsheng of the organizers, matchmaking website www.jiayuan.com.
"There are more and more single women in China nowadays who just want to find a good man. And if this man has money, that's much better."
This modern-day ball will take place on November 21 and 22, and include a lavish banquet, ball, accommodation at a luxury 5-star hotel and a cruise.
The organizers are also seeking 40 single males who are worth more than 50 million yuan (more than $7 million) each, but Cheng said only 10 had applied so far.
As for the women, they will be stringently screened for their looks, physique and intellect, with marriage counselors on hand to judge whether they are "kind, gentle and tasteful," Cheng was quoted by the official Xinhua news agency as saying.
"Girls must be outstanding in many aspects such as appearance, figure and academic performance," he added.
The website held a similar event last year which attracted 4,000 women but resulted in one successful match, Cheng said.
"Ten more couples are dating after the previous event. Rich men, because of their busy work and strict requirements for dating girls, find it hard to meet their Cinderellas," he added.
China now has more known dollar billionaires than any other country outside the United States, according to a recent report.
China's rich are also getting rich, with the average wealth on the rich-list up almost one-third from a year ago, despite the financial crisis.
Editing by Miral Fahmy