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Two Of China’s Biggest Dating Sites Baihe, Jiayuan To Join Forces
Two of China’s largest matchmaking sites are tying the knot as the country’s tech mergers and acquisitions continue into 2016.
Jiayuan.com International Ltd. announced on Monday that they will be acquired by a subsidiary of competitor Baihe Network Co. in a deal that values the former company at around $250 million USD.
The matchup between Jiayuan and Baihe’s LoveWorld Inc. is expected to close in the first quarter of 2016, after which Jiayuan will be removed from the NASDAQ. Baihe will fund the deal through $23.4 million USD in cash, and private placement of shares or bank loans.
The matchup caps of a year of mergers and acquisitions between Chinese tech companies including giants Didi-Kuaidi, Meituan-Dianping and Ganji-58.com. Jiayuan also joins a host of Chinese tech companies that have made plans to de-list from the U.S. market in 2015. Baihe has previously indicated they intend to list locally.
Jiayuan.com was founded in 2003 by Haiyan Gong, who was completing a Masters degree in Journalism at Fudan University. According to their website, Gong recognized a need for an online dating service for “busy students and young professionals in a rapidly urbanizing China.”
Jiyuan.com reported an average of 5.5 million active user accounts and 1.5 million paying user accounts per month, according to their their 2015 Q2 financial results. Users on Jiayuan.com must pay 2 to 3 RMB ($0.31 to $0.47 USD) per message or pay for a periodic subscription in order to use the service. Other value-added services include virtual gifts, highter search rankings, priority rankings for sent messages and more.
Baihe, founded in 2005 by Mu Yan, raised $240 million USD in a round of Series D funding this past May. The dating site claims to have 90 million users in 80 different cities across China.
Linguang Wu, executive director of Jiayuan, will become co-executive of the new company following the closure of the deal. The new entity has not yet disclosed a name. Jiayuan’s stock jumped almost 6.5 percent following the announcement on Monday, and is currently trading at $7.33 USD.