BEIJING: In an act of desperation, a 31-year-old Chinese engineer has "married" a robot he created after failing to find a bride.
Zheng Jiajia, an artificial intelligence expert who designs and creates robots in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province, created the "female robot" at the end of last year, the Qianjiang Evening News reported.
The robot, which he named Yingying, can identify Chinese characters and images and even say a few simple words, the report said. Zheng married the robot in a simple ceremony on last Friday the Hong Kong-based South China Morning Post reported.
Yingying wore a black suit on the day and "her" head was covered with a red scarf during the ceremony, a traditional Chinese wedding ritual. Witnesses to the event were Zheng's mother and his friends. One of his friends told the newspaper that Zheng had grown frustrated after failing to find a girlfriend.
Zheng planned to upgrade his robot "wife" to enable her to walk and even help out with household chores, the report said. Zheng once worked for Chinese multinational telecoms firm Huawei, but he left the firm in 2014 and joined Hangzhou's Dream Town, an internet venture base, last year.
Recently a researcher had warned that 30 million Chinese men may end up being single by 2030. The number of unmarried Chinese men between 35 and 59 will reach 15 million in 2020 and 30 million in 2050, Wang Guangzhou, a researcher at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences had said.
Poorly educated lower class men are far more likely to remain single. This is because males who only have a primary education or below increased to 15 per cent in 2010.
Data released by the National Bureau of Statistics on January 20 showed that China's male population reached more than 708 million at the end of 2016, while the number of females was more than 675 million.