Couples in China Can Now File for Divorce on WeChat
Married couples in China are now able to file for divorce on Tencent’s WeChat, the country’s equivalent of Facebook Messenger.
The service, which was rolled out last month, started its trial in Guangdong Province.
The option to “make an appointment for divorce registration” is found under the subtitle “marriage” in a documents page within the app.
Prospective applicants must then enter their location and personal details, such as the names and addresses of those planning to get divorced.
Speaking to Business Insider, Matthew Brennan, a WeChat expert, said that Tencent plans to roll out the feature across China. He added that making appointments through the app is “pretty typical.”
“It’s also very typical that payments can also be handled directly through WeChat, although without going through the process, it’s unclear if this is an option right now,” Brennan said.
At 35%, Guangdong’s city of Guangzhou ranks fourth on China’s divorce rates, following Beijing (39%), Shanghai (38%) and Shenzhen (36.25%), as per state reports.
In a commentary, John Sinclair, a University of Melbourne professor who has researched on China’s new media, told The Beijinger:
“In the same way as popular culture has expanded enormously as new technologies of communication have become available, this divorce filing affordance would indicate that there is, or even has been, an unfulfilled demand for such a service.
“And if there is such demand, then that suggests social changes are underway, in the form of more pressures on marriage, and a realization that options are available — on the mobile phone, even — for people in unhappy marriages.”
Twitter users chimed in:
Support our Journalism with a Contribution
Many people might not know this, but despite our large and loyal following which we are immensely grateful for, NextShark is still a small bootstrapped startup that runs on no outside funding or loans.
Everything you see today is built on the backs of warriors who have sacrificed opportunities to help give Asians all over the world a bigger voice.
However, we still face many trials and tribulations in our industry, from figuring out the most sustainable business model for independent media companies to facing the current COVID-19 pandemic decimating advertising revenues across the board.
We hope you consider making a contribution so we can continue to provide you with quality content that informs, educates and inspires the Asian community.
Even a $1 contribution goes a long way. Thank you for everyone’s support. We love you all and can’t appreciate you guys enough.