Jun 25, 2018

The big picture: Dating apps hit cultural walls

A scene from a Hindu wedding in India. Photo: Jerry Cooke/Corbis via Getty Images

For every woman on a dating app in India, there are typically three or four men, reports the Wall Street Journal. In a country where arranged marriages are still extremely common, many women are concerned that dating is too stigmatized or too dangerous.

The big picture: India and China have two of the largest and fastest-growing populations of smartphone users in the world, a big draw for dating apps. But cultural barriers keep some apps from taking off in Asia as they have in the U.S.

The matchmaking sites that saw relative success in India before the arrival of dating apps include Shaadi.com (shaadi means wedding) and BharatMatrimony.com, both of which are geared toward finding a spouse.

  • The race to attract women: A Tinder ad shows an Indian mother approving of her daughter's use of the app. Meanwhile TrulyMadly is using a video to introduce women to "boy browsing," while Woo allows women to sign up for free and use initials rather than their full names to protect their identities.
  • Women who do use dating apps say they're overwhelmed by the attention they get. “The barrage of messages that hits your inbox is like a swarm of locusts,” Anushree Majumdar, age 33, in Mumbai, told the Journal.
  • The ratio is tough on men, too. Abhimanyu Chaturvedi, 28, from New Delhi, told the Journal he only got three matches on Tinder in nine months, none of which resulted in a date.

In China, dating apps are typically used to find long relationships or marriage, as opposed to American apps, which often facilitate much more casual dating.

  • Chinese dating apps "draw on traditional Chinese dating values such as material security and marriage-focused relationships, and expand connections beyond the screen with offline events and relationship counseling services," according to researchers at the University of Southern California.
  • Tinder is blocked by China's Great Firewall, so China's own online dating services — like TanTan, Jiayuan and Baihe — have tens of millions of users and plenty of room to grow.

Go deeper

Coronavirus spreads to more countries, and South Korea ups its case count

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. Note: China numbers are for the mainland only and U.S. numbers include repatriated citizens.

The novel coronavirus continues to spread to more nations, and the U.S. reports a doubling of its confirmed cases to 34 — while noting those are mostly due to repatriated citizens, emphasizing there's no "community spread" yet in the U.S. South Korea's confirmed cases jumped from 204 on Friday to 433 on Saturday.

The big picture: COVID-19 has now killed at least 2,362 people and infected more than 77,000 others, mostly in mainland China. New countries to announce infections recently include Israel, Lebanon and Iran.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 24 mins ago - Health

Centrist Democrats beseech 2020 candidates: "Stand up to Bernie" or Trump wins

Bernie Sanders rallies in Las Vegas, Nevada on Feb. 21. Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images

Center-left think tank Third Way urgently called on the Democratic front-runners of the 2020 presidential election to challenge Sen. Bernie Sanders on the South Carolina debate stage on Feb. 25, in a memo provided to Axios' Mike Allen on Saturday.

What they're saying: "At the Las Vegas debate ... you declined to really challenge Senator Sanders. If you repeat this strategy at the South Carolina debate this week, you could hand the nomination to Sanders, likely dooming the Democratic Party — and the nation — to Trump and sweeping down-ballot Republican victories in November."

Situational awareness

Warren Buffett. Photo: Daniel Zuchnik/WireImage

Catch up on today's biggest news:

  1. Warren Buffett releases annual letter, reassures investors about future of Berkshire Hathaway
  2. Greyhound bars immigration sweeps
  3. U.S. military officially stops offensive operations in Afghanistan
  4. America's future looks a lot like Nevada
  5. Centrist Democrats beseech 2020 candidates: "Stand up to Bernie" or Trump wins