Internet regulators in China have closed down 65 online dating sites for spreading "obscene and lascivious" content and permitting users to create false accounts.

The Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC) is cracking down on online prostitution and fraud, and told China's state media agency Xinhua that "the circumstances surrounding the websites were serious and the effects terrible".

The government body said that it had investigated cases whereby the dating websites had been found to be a front for or promote illegal activities, and there were also serious personal data breaches of users.

According to, there have been many cases of people being swindled out of money. In one incident, a man surnamed Huang swindled a woman out of over 7 million yuan ($1.12m, £730,000) by pretending to be a Chinese American registered to a matchmaking website.

In another, a man on a dating site was told to pay 6,300 yuan for a "one night stand", but after he transferred the funds, the other registered user offering to provide him with the service broke off all contact.

Verified identities will now be required

Due to China's one-child policy, there is a growing problem whereby there are many single men in the country, and women who choose to remain single late into their 20s as they pursue careers are called "leftover women" and are put under enormous pressure by their families and society to get married.

Particularly around the Chinese New Year period, when people reunite with their families, the pressure to be in a relationship with someone increases, especially as the period also falls near to the Western occasion of Valentine's Day.

To further combat the spate of fake accounts across China's online dating scene, the CAC will also require dating site members to prove their true identities from now on, including members who have already signed up to the website.

"Whether the real name registration for the matchmaking industry would eradicate violations still needs to be tested over time but it could remind users to protect their private information when registering on these websites," said Shi Xiansheng, deputy secretary at the Internet Society of China.

One of the most popular online dating websites in China,, has over 120 million users and has welcomed the government's campaign to help protect its users and enable them to actually find true love.