Clearly, Netease is in the mood for love. Just days after the company launched a new iPhone LBS dating app, it has come out that Netease will also be launching dating website. The site, called Hua Tian, is coming just as a closed beta for the moment, so you can’t jump in just yet. But Netease is promising that it’s coming soon, along with Android and iOS apps to support it.
The site will require real-name registration to ensure that people aren’t getting misled or manipulated, and at present it is actually targeting companies, asking them to sign up single employees to increase their overall degree of employee happiness. At the moment, it’s all totally free, and while the company may start charging at a later date, it seems unlikely given that the service has adopted the motto “communication is important, fees are dishonest.” It’s not entirely clear yet whether the service will be permanently targeted at corporations, but if it is, it’s possible that Netease could charge the companies a fee for the memberships of their employees so that the employees — the actual end-users — never end up paying a dime. If the site really does increase their happiness and help them find love, that sounds like a win-win.
Of course, with Hua Tian in closed beta, it’s really not clear what, if anything, the company offers that differs from more established dating sites like Jiayuan. The focus on getting at single employees via their companies could be unique, but it remains to be seen whether that’s actually Netease’s long-term strategy or just a technique they’re using to find users during the closed-beta phase.
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