I tell them it’s because I have standards that I’m not willing to lower.’ Touching an expensive-looking bangle on her wrist, she goes on, 'I think my parents understand a bit more – they just want me to be happy – but my aunties always say things like, “Oh, do you remember that girl you went to school with? ” It's very frustrating.’ Wu Manling, 30 and a magazine editor, agrees.
'My mother tried to have a serious talk about me being “leftover” a while ago.
I told her that I wasn’t going to rush into marrying just anyone, that my happiness doesn’t only come from my relationships but from my work.
I have my own value and can make my own social connections.
That’s right: in China, if you're 30, female and single, you’re considered well and truly on the shelf.
'I always dread Chinese New Year,’ says Yang Ziyang, a 32-year-old talent agent earning in excess of one million RMB (£100,000) a year, 'because that’s when my extended family come over to the house and they all want to know why I’m not married yet.