YY (NASDAQ:YY) launched an online dating service less than a year ago. In the third quarter of 2014 it generated RMB64 million (around US$10m), up from RMB7 million (just over US$1m) in the first quarter.

Starting with a voice chat tool for online game players to communicate during games, YY however built a large user base and successfully monetized it through an online singing platform, YY Music. YY, singers, and owners of show rooms on the platform split the revenues generated from virtual gifts users buy to encourage performers. There are a half dozen such services with the same business model in China, such as the Hong Kong-listed Tiange.

It’s interesting that YY has transformed the show rooms into places for speed dating. Each dating room has an owner who can hire hosts to organize dating events. Anyone can apply for such a room. YY keeps developing new theme rooms that enable participants to play different games or interact with each other in new and different ways.

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Tracey Xiang

Tracey Xiang is Beijing, China-based tech writer. Reach her at traceyxiang@gmail.com