“Momo is the clear dominant app in China for straight people.
And for gay men, there’s Jack’d [with five million users] and Blued [with 15 million users], while The L and Les Park are both apps for lesbian women,” says Choi.
“The user experience is similar across the apps: you message someone if you like their profile and wait for their response.” Choi presented the results in a talk titled “Looking Online for Love and Sex in China” yesterday at Shanghai’s Datong Mill to an audience that was a mix of local and international.
The findings, given colour by chat screen grabs, were an uncensored insight into how Chinese app users express their desires, interact and present themselves online.
While Choi’s team didn’t “follow through” any of these chats, they gauged what people wanted. The most obvious seemed to be that the likelihood of finding sex online in China is vastly higher for a gay man than for a gay woman or straight person of either sex.
Many straight women were unresponsive to flirting, chatting or even invitations just for a coffee, leading Choi to conclude that straight men, even the handsome ones, seem to lose out easily online.
Kevin Choi, head of strategy and digital at French creative agency Air Paris’ Shanghai office, decided to get a closer look, launching a research project outside of work to find out more.
He had a team of researchers who helped him in his extracurricular research.
Momo or Tantan might sound like items on a trendy cocktail list, but Momo is in fact China’s largest online dating app with an estimated 180 million users and has already had an IPO in the US.
Then there is publicly listed Jiayuan coming in close with 150 million users, followed by newcomer Tantan, which has a Tinder-style “swiping” interface that allows users to swipe their fingers to peruse through thousands of profiles of potential partners.