Internet dating market size
This is the world of Chinese online dating, a nascent industry that has taken off and is expected to break two billion RMB (US8 million) in total annual revenue by 2014, according to a recent report by Analysys International.
What is interesting about Chinese online dating is not only its rapid growth in a conservative society that frowns upon courting more than one person at a time, but also its potential to change the social norms that are part of dating both online and offline.
Wandering into the main gate of People’s Park, a large public gathering space in the heart of Shanghai, one might think he or she has stumbled upon a bustling flea market.
Rows of colorful stalls line the walkways, which are crowded with old couples elbowing each other to examine the thousands of offerings.
Most services also encourage members to add photos or videos to their profile.
Once a profile has been created, members can view the profiles of other members of the service, using the visible profile information to decide whether or not to initiate contact.
The founders declined Mark Cuban's million offer to buy the firm when they appeared on Shark Tank in January.
They think the app can eventually generate around 0 million a year, like Meanwhile, venture capitalists are leery of giving any one dating startup too much funding.
Back then, not everyone acknowledged the benefits of this activity, which was perceived as a rather impersonal way of finding love.
That is not to say that online dating has changed the values and criteria of Chinese singles completely.
On the contrary, the primary players in this space — Jiayuan, Zhenai and Baihe — advertise themselves explicitly as marriage websites focused on helping singles find their future life partner.
These marriage markets are a logical extension of the traditional Chinese matchmaking culture, where family elders drive the screening for, and selection of, their child’s future mate.
At the same time, however, there is an entirely different market in operation, one where millions of exchanges happen daily, and the “shoppers” are the singles themselves.
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