ASAMNEWS - Since its closed beta test in December 2020 and a subsequent soft launch in August 2021, the app has garnered praise from Asian American users. The app was launched by Hanmin Yang, who immigrated from South Korea to Canada when he was eight, and learned to navigate Canadian society, culture, and language by watching copious amounts of television and film. He was dismayed by the numerous stereotypes Asians were forced into: women who were portrayed as fetishized and submissive, men depicted as asexual martial arts masters, or nerds. Yang says he hit rock bottom after a failed marriage. Creating Alike was a way for Yang to heal from those "scars of trauma and internalized racism." Alike was originally released as a dating app. The development team implemented a friendship feature in July 2021 after receiving feedback from numerous female beta testers who wanted to connect with other women on a non-romantic basis.
by Julia Tong
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