An article on China Daily meets Gong Haiyan, the founder of Chinese dating site Jiayuan, to talk out about her other business, and current focus – online education.
Gong is a self-made millionaire who created Jiayuan after signing up to a dating site when she was 25, and being told that “successful men couldn’t possible be interested in her”.
When she was refused a refund, she decided to set up her own site.
Ten years later and Jiayuan has 100m users, is publicly listed, and Gong has shares worth $45m.
She has now stepped down from her management job at Jiayuan, and runs an oral English education business.
This includes the site 91waijiao.com – a one-to-one online English learning experience – and Tizi.com, an online education resource platform for primary and middle schools.
Gong has already received $4m in funding, and is expected to take in a second round of $24m.
She said: “In the next three to five years, there will be a boom in the industry. Many people will elect to start a business in the sector, but only a couple of them will survive.”
She believes her company will be one of the last standing.
“The biggest difference is that this time I was in the spotlight straight from when I started the business. A lot of people want to see how I end up with my second entrepreneurial effort,” she said.
“I don’t feel pressured because I have maintained my entrepreneurial passion and have now fallen in love with the business of online education.”