Wuhan is seeing a spike in marriage registration appointments on the first day after it reopened on Wednesday. After a 76-day lockdown, requests to be wedded from local couples-to-be tripled and nearly crashed an online marriage registration program.
China’s global mobile and online payment platform Alipay, which runs the program, announced on Chinese Twitter-like social media platform Sina Weibo on Wednesday that because too many users visited the program, about three times as those before the Spring Festival in late January, the program had a temporary glitch.
The announcement said the system didn’t crash but could be slow, noting that the users can refresh it several times to log in.
Alipay also reminded users that another program to search for baby names is also available in case people need it in the future.
Alipay later said on Twitter on Wednesday afternoon that they “didn’t expect the strong demand for marriage services after an earlier surge in divorce appointments. Our surprised engineers have fixed things.”
Wuhan, capital of Central China’s Hubei Province, opened up on Wednesday after a 76-day lockdown, as local authorities officially lifted outbound travel restrictions, signaling the normal resumption of life for the city of 11 million people and a phased victory in combating the novel coronavirus pneumonia.
Wuhan resumed marriage registration services on April 3. Residents must hold a health code to make an appointment for registration.
A local woman surnamed Xu, who received her marriage certificate on Wednesday, told the Global Times that she and her husband finally married today after the lockdown. Xu noted that she sees the first day after the lockdown as being very meaningful and would be a good marriage anniversary day for them.
“Life is back on track. It’s a new beginning. And now I’ve become a person responsible for three families, as a wife, daughter and daughter-in-law,” Xu said.
The large number of appointments for marriage registration in Wuhan presents a striking contrast with the situation in some other Chinese cities in March. According to previous media reports, Chinese cities such as Xi’an, Northwest China’s Shaanxi Province, experienced a divorce peak as a repercussion of COVID-19 since services were resumed on March 1.