More singles turn to online dating apps amid outbreak

BEIJING: Zhang Xiaojing is a 33-year-old accountant in Beijing who has been browsing dating apps since the coronavirus outbreak.

She is looking to find a boyfriend and get married as soon as possible.

“I used to join offline dating activities during the weekends, but almost all gatherings have been prohibited and cinemas and bars have been shut down,” she said.

Zhang lives alone and downloaded several online dating apps, including Momo and Tantan, out of boredom.

She noted that Tantan’s way of finding dates, unlike traditional dating websites, is interesting and simple.“I chat only with people I am matched with and can choose to hide my contacts. The app also has other functionalities which people can use for free. For instance, I can play games, upload pictures or texts and share videos,” she said.

For Zhang, online romance in the time of the contagion has become more than just finding love. It is also a source of comfort and connection.Online dating apps have seen a significant increase in usage due to the Covid-19 outbreak.

Industry experts said the “cloud matchmaking” method, which includes livestreaming and short video formats which comply with the habits of users and satisfy the needs of self-presentation, is gaining tractions among singles.

During the outbreak, those born in around 1995 and after 2000 have become the top users of Tantan, recording an increase of over 20% in messages sent and daily matches. — China Daily/ANN

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