He started swiping through prospective partners' pictures and limited profiles, which include information like age, zodiac sign and occupation.

Among the most popular apps, both for Chinese and foreign singles, are Tantan, Momo and Skouts.

Sun Yang, a public relations director from Momo, told Metropolitan that they have seen more expats using their dating app over the past few years, though they didn't have any statistics detailing their number of foreign users.

Photo: IC It was 11 pm on a Saturday night, and Jeff, a European expat who has been living in Beijing for five years, was just back from a party where he met a lot of new people, both foreigners and Chinese.

Still, though, he felt just a little bit empty, a little bit restless, and so he logged onto Tantan, a Chinese dating app similar to Tinder, that he has been using for the past year.

"Dating apps help break that invisible boundary between expats and locals," he said.

That has indeed been the case for the two male expats who talked to Metropolitan, both of whom have noticed they are more popular on Chinese dating apps than they are on apps in their home countries.

He recalls one Chinese girl who, after a single date, began planning their wedding and future together in China."I understand that in China, some girls are facing pressure to get married before a certain age, which drives them to want to get serious faster in relationships," said Andrew.

Another source of culture shock for expats is unrealistic expectations.

China’s Foreign Ministry tried to dismiss the visit as a “normal military exchange” on Wednesday, after the army seized power in the African country.