“If You Are the One” is a Chinese television phenomenon, one of many popular matchmaking shows on which young people seek mates amid ribald jokes from the host and occasional racy comments from guests.
Audiences loved all the titillation, until last month — when Chinese government censors came down hard. After a contestant indicated she was angling for a wealthy man with a flashy car, government nannies ordered all matchmaking shows to cut the sexual innuendo, uphold traditional values and ban any talk of women “gold digging.”
The censorship is the latest and most public example of the government’s new crackdown on vice and perceived immorality. It comes even as China becomes more freewheeling and open, with people increasingly pushing the boundaries in matters involving taste, sex and money — and the intersection of the three.