The Financial Times has published an article documenting the online dating landscape in Asia. It covers the different dating cultures and practices in Malaysia, China, India and Japan.
First of all, the feature describes the ‘sugar daddy’ dating scene in Malaysia. Sugarbook is one of the leading platforms in this area and is advertised as being “where romance meets finance”.
Darren Chan, the founder of Sugarbook, assured the Financial Times that there is no prostitution whatsoever, but just “honest and transparent relationships”. The website offers a $200 a month premium service for men, which a number of bankers, lawyers and politicians have signed up for.
In China, sugar daddy dating has been phased out as the government wants to focus on clean content that is in line with country’s socialist values.
Tantan is one of the leading dating apps in China and its founder, Yu Wang, wants to make it clear that his app isn’t a Tinder replication. Instead, it focuses more on helping people meet and form meaningful connections, rather than just hookups.
Yu Wang told the Financial Times: “In China [meeting] is a challenge. It’s difficult because there is no flirting culture. Very few young people go to bars and clubs. We wouldn’t strike up a conversation with a stranger.”
China’s online population has just grown to over 800 million for the first time.
Arranged marriage is prevalent in India, but more and more young singles want to meet people of their own accord. Therefore, Stay Uncle is gaining popularity in the country. It offers couples a hotel room on an hourly rate, so they can meet without their families watching and judging.
Finally, Japan has integrated its famous gaming culture with online dating. 9monsters is a gay dating app where couples interact through their personal virtual pets. Tom Baudinette, a lecturer in Japanese Studies from Macquarie University told the Financial Times: “[9monsters] catches on the playful nature of Japan’s gay subculture”.
Taiwan is considered to be the Asian country with the most progressive attitudes toward the LGBT community. That is potentially one of the reasons why Grindr chose Taiwan’s capital, Taipei, as the home of its first Asian office.
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