Cafe owner eager to light up dating show

Calling all lonely singles – now’s your chance to find your perfect match.

The catch You have to speak Mandarin. China’s most popular dating game show, If You Are the One, has landed on New Zealand’s shores to help lonely Chinese expatriates and other Mandarin speakers find a partner.

Canterbury bachelor Zhangwei Cao signed up for the show in the hope it would help him find love, as he found it difficult to meet Asian women in Christchurch.

“It’s not just me. A lot of other guys have this problem. There tend to be more Asian women in Auckland, while there are more Asian men in Christchurch. It’s not very balanced.

“At first, when I was younger, I was too busy to date, and then when I hit 30, I found there weren’t very many single women my age. My friends tried to help, but they couldn’t.

“I’d watched the show before and thought it was a really interesting and unique experience. The show appeals to a lot of people.”

Cao, who co-owns a cafe and works part-time as a taxi driver, has been in New Zealand for more than 15 years, spending most of his time in Christchurch.

In the show, the man introduces himself on stage in front of 24 single women, who then proceed to interrogate him.

The women each have a light in front of them.

If they are interested in the candidate, they leave the light on.

They turn the light off to indicate disinterest.

Cao said he was nervous about appearing in the show, as were his family in Taiwan.

“Their greatest fear is that as soon as I go on stage, all 24 lights will go off,” he said.

“That sort of rejection would be hard to live down. I hope one light will stay on for me.”

The show will be filmed in Auckland at the end of this month. People who have signed up will have to go through an interview process before producers decide whether they are suitable.

The show has a viewership in China of 300 million people.

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