Though I would say that most people would answer that it should be the man.
As I have observed in different cultures around the globe basically from watching literally thousands of movies and reading thousands of books, my guess would be that the majority would say that it is the man who should pay the bill when going out on a date.
I am curious what Shenzhenstuff members would say.
In today's world when the opportunities for both men and women are roughly equal, it could be fair to say that going dutch is the right solution. Considering that the modern woman has always been advocating for women's liberation and equality.
Consider the following scenarios;
1. A man asks a girl out to an affordable restaurant (maybe about 30 to 50rmb a meal) but the girl refuses and suggests that they go to a more expensive one (about 100 to 200 per meal).
Even though a guy could not refuse a woman she likes and eventually agrees, the woman senses the man's reluctance especially when it is time to pay the bill. Even after a very wonderful dinner date, with a very good conversation, the woman decides not to meet the man ever again.
2. A woman asks a man out for dinner several times, and the man pays for the bill all the time. The girl never even offers. Eventually, the guy likes the girl and proposes that they go steady. The girl refuses saying that they are not compatible, and that they are just meant to be friends. The girl continues to ask the man out saying that she likes to hang out with him. More often than not, she would even bring her friends along. And, of course, the man pays the bill.
3. A man asks a girl out but she says she is too busy to go out. After 3 months, the girl decides to accept the man's invitation and suggests that they go to Disneyland. The girl clearly says that she will bring her friend with her and that the man should be paying for the entrance fees. (entrance fee is about 350 per person). That also means the guy pays for everything else like the taxi fare, lunch and dinner, etc.
4. A man asks a woman he met online for a dinner date. The woman lives about 2 hours away and only agrees if the man goes to her location. The man agrees only if the woman will treat the man for dinner even just at McDonald's or KFC. The woman agrees without hesitation and says they should set a date within the week. Unfortunately after that, the woman has never replied to any text message nor answered any call.
In most cases, a woman would disagree and outright say, "in your dreams".
There are hundreds of different scenarios and I would love to hear about other people's experiences, both men and women.
If men are to pay the bill, and women just collect and select, multiply this a thousand fold, a guy needs to spend his entire life savings in his pursuit of finding the right woman. That is considering the average pay in this part of the world is only 1,500 rmb per month even for a university graduate.
No wonder a property developer once made an ad saying, "An apartment is more reliable than a man." - 房子比男人可靠。
In some rare instances, I have met some women who insist that we go dutch. Probably one in a thousand, it is meeting one in several years.