Freelance copywriter Chai Wanrou thinks marriage is an unfair institution. Like many young women in China, she is part of a growing movement that envisions a future with no husband and no children, presenting the government with a challenge it could do without.

"Regardless of whether you're extremely successful or just ordinary, women still make the biggest sacrifices at home," the 28-year-old feminist said at a cafe in the northwestern city of Xi'an.

"Many who got married in previous generations, especially women, sacrificed themselves and their career development, and didn't get the happy life they were promised. Living my own life well is difficult enough nowadays," she said.