The big picture: India and China have two of the largest and fastest-growing populations of smartphone users in the world, a big draw for dating. Love 'em, hate 'em, but you can't ignore dating apps. Much as you may dream of meeting the love of your life at bar like you saw in sitcoms. How online dating is like having an arranged marriage Asia, parts of Africa, the Middle East, and East Asian countries like Japan and China. In India, the divorce rate for all marriages is about 1% and it's higher for love.
Having said that, there is no doubt that this is a competitive space. We are trying to offer a unique proposition: Tantan's focus is directed towards building a community, where we control the use of fake pictures, spammers, and every sort of harassment, with the use of technology and manual filtering.
Other dating apps have become loaded with a lot of fake profiles; this is one thing we have remedied and you can sense a higher level of trust with our app. In terms of results, we are witnessing a good retention, here in India. How many people have signed up so far and what are the projections for ?
We cannot disclose the exact figures but as long as we keep the daily active user DAU growth going up, we have an open budget for the Indian market. How is the dating app market in India different from China?
To be frank, the two nations have posed similar challenges. In both the countries, the socio-cultural setup is similar. For instance, women in India were not very keen on signing on dating apps in the initial days, but now it is sort of becoming cooler. It is the same case in China as well. There are social apprehensions around dating.
Nevertheless, there has been a spurt in female users getting on the app. Moreover, between the two countries, language plays a pivotal role. Indian users tend to prefer using the app in English, whereas Chinese users prefer using the app in Chinese. Our app is available only in English and not in a local language, unlike in China. What is the unique placement that Tantan is making in India? We are a young company committed to serving the youth. We aim to make the women comfortable with the idea of going out on dates.
We are driven towards keeping a balanced sex ratio and have consistently maintained a healthy 6: We look into the quality of users and keep the environment safe and secure enabling healthy conversations.
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We have witnessed that Indian singles are now looking forward to meeting more singles on a public platform like Tantan. If you stay on, you are in it for the long haul. But thing is, you will almost always head back. The pollution aside, Beijing still has a culture which remains alien for years after you have experienced it.
Add to this the tiny difficulties of navigating daily life — and the idea of permanently settling in Beijing seem daunting. It is the same for Chinese women. Everyone is either leaving, already has a partner from back home or just wants to mess around, she said, which makes long-term dating a difficult prospect.
To see and be seen I am 27, and until November, called Mumbai home. It is weird to be exotic for the first time in my life. I am often the only brown face in a bar, a supermarket, the subway, or the street. Even more frequently, I am the only brown female face. Since I moved here, I have seen exactly one other woman who vaguely resembled me, and she turned out to be Middle Eastern.
The language barrier I am learning Mandarin but I have not yet achieved fluency means that my dating pool is usually limited to American or British expatriates. We find common ground as outsiders — we rave about an episode of Bojack Horseman and complain about how Tinder keeps breaking down on us because it needs VPN or virtual private network.
It is a bubble, yes, and, often, a comforting one. Like all comforting bubbles, it is one which you need to constantly remind yourself to step out of, or you will never get to know your new home. As I discovered, it is also a bubble which soon enough, bursts on its own. I was way too tired and a little bit tipsy, to answer that one seriously. From the mild glee that crossed his face, I knew exactly what he was thinking.
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In dude-speak, I was a bad Indian girl. But in Beijing, it is odd and frustrating to have to tell people: I had assumed that globalisation meant I would not need to keep explaining my actions. But several expats here are from rural states deep in the American heartland, and I am often the first Indian they have met.
While Jason is not representative of all Americans, there are a lot of men like him going about. They know little about my life in urban India, and to be fair, I know little about where and how they grew up.
I listen to a Southern drawl and there is a part of my brain which jumps to quick judgement, just as they might be do when they hear my accent. Being an English teacher is considered something that requires little skill and is a guaranteed job, as long as you are white.
Hooking up in Beijing Dating platforms offer a glimpse into this world. There is a homegrown version of Tinder called Tantan, like China has for virtually every global social media platform it has banned.
It looks the same, with drastically different results. The conversation was constant, if a little stilted. They would discuss the usual: It all came to a crashing halt when Kevin asked Sara if she would like to meet him sometime.
Almost immediately, Sara stopped replying.
This particular instance was exactly like the last three — Kevin never heard from any of them again. Tantan has the notorious reputation of being an app which Chinese girls use only to talk to expats to practise their English. It was also my own port-of-call when I first visited Beijing, on a month-long trip across China, last April.
I swigged Yanjing beer on the pavement at 3 am with an English teacher from the UK, tried fried snake at Wangfujing with a Texan IT guy, dug into bowls of lamian at a tiny noodle shop with a Chinese graphic designer. It had been a gloriously blurry fortnight — one that had let me have all of the fun without having to deal with the mess.