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e-Commerce, Lifestyle, Trends
April 19, 2012 | 1 Comments

Momo, Weixin, and China’s Find-and-Flirt Phenomenon

Momo in action.

Momo in action.

Location-based apps have become something of a phenomenon in China. The so-called “find and flirt” mobile applications are particularly popular among young Chinese who otherwise find it difficult to connect with one another.

One such app, Momo (陌陌) allows its users to locate, chat, and possibly hook up with people around them. The app is available for both iPhone and Android and has over 2 million users. It was launched last year Beijing-based startup Momo Tech and their web site boasts that a number of its users have married following a Momo encounter.

Like its fortunate users, Momo is not alone. The find and flirt scene is crowded by humble apps like Mix, Youjia(右加), Mojing(磨镜) and Zazzer (在这IM), as well as the mighty Tencent’s Weixin app. Many of the smaller apps are integrated with larger services such as Sina Weibo and Tencent’s QQ, so one can browse a nearby user’s full online profile.

The growing popularity of location-based online interactions reflects a growing comfort with online interactions among Chinese consumers. As we described in an earlier post, the Boston Consulting Group predicts that online shopping in China will see exceptional growth through 2015, by which time the percentage of e-shoppers in China is expected to reach 44% of the total urban population. Whether they are looking for a great deal, a perfect outfit, or that special someone, young Chinese consumers are increasingly inclined to look for it online.

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