When Chinese president Xi Jinping presided over the signing of an agreement by regional leaders to promote development of the Greater Bay Area—an innovation hub encompassing Hong Kong, Macau, Guangzhou, Shenzhen, and seven other cities in Guangdong Province—in 2017, he perhaps did not foresee all of the results that would come about.

Two years later, Greater Bay Area residents have access to the mainland-Hong Kong high-speed rail link, a sea crossing spanning Zhuhai, Macau, and Hong Kong; a somewhat vague master development plan… and Wanqu, or Baymate.

The social app was launched by Shenzhen and Hong Kong-based Darelove Technology in June. Initially positioned as a dating offering, it also hosts user forums on regional shopping, food, and entertainment. On Tencent’s Yingyongbao Android app store, the app has been downloaded more than 1 million times. On the Apple China App Store, which has an updated version without a dating option, the app has racked up over 2,000 reviews, the vast majority of which are five star ratings.

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Bailey Hu

Bailey Hu is based in China’s hardware capital, Shenzhen. Her interests include local maker culture, grassroots innovation and how tech shapes society, as well as vice versa.