Li share his insights on this often misunderstood industry, its future in China and his own career path.
This chart shows the percentage of men and women in France who in 2015 reported having registered on an e-dating service at some point in their life (websites and/or mobile apps).
How does Zhenai think about long-term monetization in an industry where “your happiest customers (because they get married) are always leaving you”? Li share, personally, given his own career trajectory from scholar to banker to internet entrepreneur, on how to “optimize” one’s career in a world where black swan events can upset the best of laid plans, prestigious degrees and brilliant business insights?
The Stanford GSB Chapter of HK could not be more pleased to have Dr. Li Song is the founder, chairman and, until January 2016, was also the CEO of Zhenai.com, the largest online & mobile dating service provider in China, with 100 million registered members and an annual run rate of USD 200 million in revenue. Li began his tech career by initially setting up an incubator that gave birth, inter alia, to Meme Star/Xunlong, a mobile SMS-based chat service successfully sold to Sina. Li’s entrepreneurial experience has been featured by some of the major international and Chinese media such as CNN, CNBC, Tokyo TV, CCTV, Hong Kong Phoenix TV, Beijing TV and Shanghai Oriental TV. Li was an Executive Director of the Equities Division at Morgan Stanley Asia, in charge of originating and marketing equity derivatives to the investment bank's corporate and high-net worth clients in Asia, prior to which he was a Vice President in NYC in the Fixed Income Division of Bear Stearns.
It states that in 2015, only one percent of French women claimed to have used mobile dating apps exclusively, while 11 percent declared that they had used both mobile dating apps and dating websites.
This chart shows the percentage of people in France who in 2015 reported having registered with an e-dating service at some point in their life, according to their level of satisfaction with their sex life.
Online dating and chat room user profiles have slowly become more detailed.
Not to mention blood type, where a type A (believed to be perfectionists) might recoil at the idea of dating an AB type (arty, mysterious and unpredictable).
All this in a society where the past Single Child Policy has made it more difficult to find a spouse and raised the stakes of doing so; where 27% of urban women in their late 20s are not married (compared to only 7% in 1982); where 15% of the population is single (200 MM young adults); where it is estimated that 15% to 20% of young men may never find brides; yet where 90% of Chinese still feel women should be married by age 27 or risk becoming “leftover ladies”; and where customers can remain as fickle as anywhere in the world, as contestant Ms.
In a low-barrier to entry, crowded market, Zhenai (founded in 2005, in which took at 20% stake in 2011), has successfully focused on the relatively more price-indifferent marriage oriented customer, taking traditional Chinese courtship traditions and modernizing them online.
In parallel, Zhenai relies heavily on off-line advertising, using such high profile endorsers as Le Jia, host of the “If You Are the One” television dating show to reinforce its market positioning.