Taiwan Bridles Foreign Wife Brokers
Lawmakers angry over unions built on 'weak foundations'
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 31, 2009 7:45 PM CDT
Dozens of Taiwanese Air Force members kiss their brides and grooms in a hanger during a mass wedding of 70 couples at the Hsinchu Air Force Base, Friday, Aug. 10, 2007.   (AP Photo/Wally Santana)

(Newser) – Taiwan is clamping down on companies that arrange quicky foreign marriages for male customers, the BBC reports. Many Taiwanese men say they fly to Southeast Asian countries like Indonesia and Vietnam for brides because women in Taiwan are putting off marriage for career. But officials say cross-border weddings are built on "weak foundations," and women's groups complain that such unions amount to the buying and selling of brides.

Taiwanese men pay up to $9,000 to pick a bride, often based on a photo or video, and sometimes wed them on the spot. Foreign women often take part to send money back home or work in Taiwan as prostitutes. Taiwanese lawmakers, concerned about the country's image, say marriage brokers can only charge for administrative costs and expenses, and violaters will face fines up to $30,000.