E-dat­ing Chi­nese-Amer­i­can style

China Daily (Canada) - - ACROSSAMERICA - By YU WEI in San Fran­cisco yuwei12@chi­nadai­lyusa.com

With Valen­tine’s Day two days away, Li, who works for a high-tech com­pany in Sil­i­con Val­ley, is look­ing for­ward to the hol­i­day with ex­cite­ment and an­tic­i­pa­tion.

Thanks to the ser­vice pro­vided by 2RedBeans, an on­line dat­ing ser­vice fo­cused on match­ing Chi­nese Amer­i­cans, Li has fi­nally fallen in love af­ter be­ing sin­gle for the long­est time.

“I met her 6 months ago through 2RedBeans and I felt a grow­ing chem­istry through our con­ver­sa­tions,” Li said. “I was al­ready in love with her be­fore I even set eyes on her.”

“I was skep­ti­cal at first about us­ing a dat­ing web­site to find love,” Li said, who had no ex­pe­ri­ence with on­line dat­ing pre­vi­ously. “I’m so glad I gave it a try.”

Now, af­ter of­fi­cially be­ing to­gether for three months, Li said he is con­fi­dent about this re­la­tion­ship.

More and more re­la­tion­ships are be­gin­ning dig­i­tally.

Even Zhao Qinghua, the founder of 2RedBeans, said that she her­self met her fu­ture hus­band on the web­site she es­tab­lished to help Chi­ne­seAmer­i­can sin­gles find love.

Zhao, who has a PhD in elec­tri­cal en­gi­neer­ing from the Univer­sity of Cal­i­for­ni­aSan Diego, started her en­tre­pre­neur­ial en­deavor af­ter work­ing at Broadcom as a soft­ware en­gi­neer.

“Like many en­trepreneurs, I started 2RedBeans with my friends to solve our own prob­lems, find­ing dates that could lead to a life part­ner,” Zhao said.

Zhao said it was so dif­fi­cult to meet other people with sim­i­lar cul­tural back­grounds and val­ues.

“Since pop­u­lar US dat­ing sites like Match.com and eHar­mony are not fo­cused on match­ing Chi­nese Amer­i­cans, it is of­ten hard for us to find people who have the same cul­tural val­ues,” Zhao said.

In con­trast, 2RedBeans’ match­ing al­go­rithm fo­cused on char­ac­ter­is­tics that are more rel­e­vant to the Chi­nese, such as ar­rival date in the US and signs of the Zo­diac.

Zhao and her team also de­cided to make the site very in­ter­ac­tive to en­cour­age people to com­mu­ni­cate with each other early on.

“Chi­nese by na­ture are very shy, which de­creases their op­por­tu­ni­ties to meet other people,” she ex­plained. “We try our best to in­crease the in­ter­ac­tion and in turn to in­crease their chances of find­ing some­one.”

Over the past three years, the web­site has hosted more than 200 off­line dat­ing ac­tiv­i­ties across North Amer­ica. For the com­ing Valen­tine’s Day, it will hold sin­gles par­ties in cities like Wash­ing­ton DC, New York, Bos­ton, San Fran­cisco, Los Angeles and Van­cou­ver.

A part­ner with China’s pop­u­lar dat­ing show Fei Cheng Wu Rao 2012 North Amer­ica spe­cial episode, 2RedBeans is now the co-or­ga­nizer of the 2014 US edi­tion of One out of a Hun­dred, an­other pop­u­lar Chi­nese match­mak­ing show hosted by Shang­hai Dragon TV.

“The US Edi­tion of the show One out of a Hun­dred is in­tended to not just be a dat­ing show, but also a win­dow for people in China to have a peek into the lives of people in the US, their value sys­tems, their cri­te­ria for a mate, and their life styles,” Zhao ex­plained.

“In a short span of only 10 days, we’ve al­ready had more than 290 ap­pli­cants to the show, in­clud­ing ac­tresses, en­gi­neers, pro­fes­sors, real es­tate agents, many amaz­ing sin­gles,” she added.

As the largest Chi­nese dat­ing site in North Amer­ica, 2RedBeans has more than 200,000 reg­is­tered users. Zhao ex­pects that 2RedBeans will grow and sat­u­rate the US and Cana­dian mar­ket in 2014, adding it will then be ex­pand­ing to other coun­tries where there are many Chi­nese im­mi­grants.

“We are push­ing out our mo­bile apps so that sin­gles can get ac­cess to other sin­gles on the go. We are also work­ing on some­thing that can bring sin­gles off­line to meet each other quickly,” she said.

As for the to­tal num­ber of 2RedBeans matched people that lead to mar­riage, Zhao said the con­ser­va­tive es­ti­mate is at least one cou­ple per day. “For matches that be­come girl­friend or boyfriend, I’d imag­ine that’s a much larger num­ber,” she added.

Jin, a 38-year-old Chi­nese Amer­i­can who lives in Fre­mont, Cal­i­for­nia, started a re­la­tion­ship two months ago through 2RedBeans.

Af­ter some gen­eral chitchat and the first date, Jin said things moved re­ally fast be­tween the two.

“I have tried Match.com and eHar­mony be­fore, how­ever, un­like 2RedBeans, I never had a se­ri­ous off­line date with some­one,” he said. “I felt US dat­ing sites are more ca­sual dat­ing ori­ented.”

“To me, or many Chi­nese Amer­i­cans, we start our ex­pe­ri­ence with the pur­pose of mar­riage,” Jin said. “2RedBeans has nar­rowed the dat­ing pool based on the same back­ground and that made it much eas­ier for me to find the right per­son.”

PRO­VIDED TO CHINA DAILY

On­line dat­ing ser­vice web­site 2RedBeans has been pop­u­lar among Chi­nese stu­dents in the US.

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