Mandarins in the Glorious People's Republic of China are turning to technology to stop a spate of adultery and bigamy which has plagued the population. The problem is that ever since China started to get more wealthy, it created a culture of secret mistresses and illegal second wives.
Now officials are putting marriage records online so lovers and spouses can check for cheaters. State media on Wednesday said Beijing and Shanghai will be among the first places to put marriage databases online this year. The plan is to have records for all of China online by 2015.
The authorities have been planning such a database for years, but it always gets held back at the last minute. We guess there is some senior party official who happens to have half a dozen marriages who needs to have his sins purged from the data base.
Bigamy is illegal in China, and corruption inspectors with the ruling Communist Party have said several officials have been guilty. Ironically one of them was former head of the National Bureau of Statistics, Qiu Xiaohua. He was called a "vile social and political influence" and expelled from the party in 2007.
One study of extramarital affairs in China, published in the US in 2005, said 20 per cent of 1,240 married men surveyed in urban China and 3.9 per cent of 1275 married women said they had an affair in the last year.