This post was contributed by guest blogger, Yasmin Li.

China’s largest online dating site Jiayuan.com filed for an initial public offering, aiming to raise up to US$100 million. As the latest in a series of Chinese social network companies to apply for US listings, the company’s shares are expected to trade on the Nasdaq under the symbol “DATE”.

Established by Ms Gong Haiyan, the website targets single, city-dwelling adults and has a stated goal of “addressing the dating and marriage needs of China’s rapidly growing urban singles population”.

With more than 40 million registered users by the end of March, the security issues of online dating services, including use of fake names and nicknames, can not be ignored.

In one notorious case, after years of investing time and emotion into the relationship; four girls from Beijing discovered they were dating the same boyfriend and he was also a father. The man used four separate fake identities on Jiayuan.com to trick these unfortunate four girls. He posed as a millionaire from Hong Kong, a businessman, a prestigious university graduate and a British-born Chinese, to date these four girls separately and make excuses to cheat them out of money totalling RMB425,000 or USD$65,000!

Ms Gong Haiyan said, “Jiayuan’s anti-fraud team have never stopped trying to improve the security of the network and crack down on online fraud. Membership audit and verification of Jiayuan is very strict, aiming to be the most formal online dating site domestically.”

Today’s online dating industry generates over $4 billion revenue per year. There has been a proliferation of online dating websites around the world, such as Match.com, eHarmony, 2redbeans.com which is a website specifically for Chinese in America (previously covered). The Chinese online dating industry is really taking off now, with the younger generation of users, using internet as their main social networking tool. Brought up in a more conservative way compared to their Western counterparts, it’s more difficult for Chinese to approach strangers even if they find them attractive.

As more Chinese turn to the internet to find potential partners, let’s hope that Jiayuan will more effectively protect its shy users from heart-break and monetary loss.

Jason Lim

Jason is an Australian born Chinese living in Beijing, specializing in entrepreneurship, start-ups and the investment eco-system in China, especially in the tech and social area.

Join the Conversation

5 Comments

  1. Does jiayuan’s TOS or FAQs address this specific issue?
    Do any of the other online match-making services address this issue?

    I just read in USAToday that similar services in the US are used by sex offenders looking for victims.

    Let’s hope that users are more careful and aware of who they’re meeting in the future.

  2. Does the JIayuan offer some sort of vetting service that guarantees quality candidates or the veracity of their single status? If not… sounds like the victims should probably take some responsibility for their own bad judgement or ability to gauge how single their boyfriend is.

    You don’t need the internet or any of its services to end up with a partner that has another girlfriend or boyfriend! 😉

  3. Seriously! I think it’s easy to blame a website but people lie and cheat in real life anyways…

  4. One of the greatest things about online dating is that participants get to specify the exact type of person they are looking for. This can be done by joining a dating online service, or posting a personal.
     Mature Dating

Leave a comment

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.