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This law will affect agencies based in TW, but has no jurisdiction over ones based abroad.
Taiwan curbs foreign bride firms
A law is coming into effect in Taiwan to ban commercial firms from arranging international marriages.
Only non profit-making organisations are now allowed to do so, according to Taiwan's government.
Many Taiwanese men travel to China and south-east Asian countries, especially Vietnam and Indonesia, to find brides.
They say they have to do so because Taiwanese women are putting careers ahead of marriage, delaying getting married or not marrying at all.
The BBC's Cindy Sui, in the Taiwanese capital Taipei, says matchmaking agencies have developed a booming business, charging men as much as $9,000 to help them find a wife.
But Taiwan's government has decided to put a stop to this.
The national immigration agency says the new law has been brought in because many of the cross-border marriages are based on "weak foundations".
The men are shown photo albums or videos of the women, they pick the one they want and after only one trip to see the woman, they marry her, sometimes on the spot.
Our correspondent says that many of the women agree because they are motivated by the chance to live and work in Taiwan and send money home.
Women's groups in Taiwan have complained that this amounts to buying and selling partners.
Some of the "brides" arrive in Taiwan after faking a marriage, and go on to work as prostitutes.
To preserve Taiwan's image and ensure marriages are treated as a serious matter not as a business, the government says from now on companies can only charge their customers for the air fare, hotel expenses and administrative costs.
Violators will be fined up to $30,000.
The agencies will also be strongly advised to encourage both parties to get to know each other better.
There are more than 400,000 foreign spouses, mostly women, in Taiwan, with about 20,000 new transnational marriages registered each year.
Story from BBC NEWS:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/2/hi/a ... 179359.stm
Published: 2009/08/01 00:19:04 GMT
Â© BBC MMIX
Were those costs in US dollars or Taiwan dollars?
Why would non-profit organizations want to arrange marriages though? If there's no profit in it, then the agencies have no incentive.
$9000 USD for that is way too much though. One can just fly to Vietnam or China from Taiwan for $100 or so and find a wife himself or use agencies over there.
I was considering this route at one point too. I saw it on youtube and the bride that the guy picked seemed very sweet and humble and innocent, as well as cute of course.
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Since the article was from BBC, we can't be sure if the dollar figure is in NT, USD, or ?
In Taiwan, match makers are given a red packet for their trouble. This is under the table and almost never reported as income. The law restricts local agencies from turning mail order brides into a business.
But this is most irreverent considering countries like Vietnam are taking over the local mail order bride business as a government monopoly:
Vietnam state to run bride agency
Vietnam says it is planning to set up an official matchmaking agency to arrange marriages between Vietnamese women and foreign men.
The authorities say they want to regulate the sector, which they say is currently run by illegal groups.
Police have targeted events in recent years where dozens of women from poor backgrounds, seeking a better life, are paraded before potential suitors.
The men are often on short "marriage holidays" from South Korea and Taiwan.
Correspondents say that overseas marriage is seen by some women in Vietnam as a route out of poverty and the practice is widespread in some rural areas.
But many women fall foul of unscrupulous brokers and are sold into prostitution, while others are forced into marriages they do not want.
Vietnamese officials have now been told to make plans for a state-controlled matchmaking firm based in Ho Chi Minh City.
The government says it hopes the plan will help prevent the abuse of Vietnamese women by criminal organisations, or by their new husbands.
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