Ms Xu, 34, a bank worker in the city who has worked hard to get her master's degree, now finds it an even tougher task to find her Mr Right. Declining to be identified by her full name, Ms Xu is just one of the growing ranks of women in South China's Guangdong Province who have passed what the Chinese consider the normal age for marriage, but who are still longing for families of their own, albeit with increasing difficulty. "It is getting more and more difficult to find husbands for these women," said Wu Shanghui, head of a matchmaking agency in Guangzhou, capital of Guangdong Province. Wu estimates that of all the singles aged 35 and over in Guangdong, 70 per cent are women. He added that the phenomenon is common nationwide. Wu said more and more women do not consider getting married seriously until their late 20s, concentrating instead on college education and career ambitions. As they pass 35 they find that their choices, usually men who are older than them and meet their criteria, are few. For the men's part, they are looking for women much younger than they are. For example, many men in their late 30s and 40s prefer wives who are in their 20s, this in turn creates an imbalance.