REUTERS -- Feb 13 -- Match.com has secured Love21CN.com , one of China's biggest online dating service providers, as its main target for a potential stake purchase or business partnership. eHarmony is also looking at potential partners in China. In November, China.com said it would team up with Meetic for business promotion. Meetic in July also launched a localized Chinese site called "Mi Tang," or "Sweetie" in English. A Meetic-led venture capital consortium is also expected to invest $20 million in Yeeyoo. iResearch expects the Chinese online personals market revenue to grow by ~60% annually to 653 million yuan ($84.21 million) by 2008. MySpace will launch in China within months. GSR Ventures and U.S. fund Mayfield jointly invested $2 million in "Baihe" -- "Lily" in English -- in late 2005. In December, Baihe began charging 1,980 yuan per person for its high-end "Golden" service. Most Chinese dating sites are free.
Mark Brooks: I have an interview with the CEO of Baihe.com lined up for OPW in March. Online dating has a casual connotation in China and is often referred to as 'friends-making.' The Asian internet dating conference is scheduled for May in Shanghai. See idate2007.com.
INTERFAX -- Jan 19 -- Meetic paid USD 20 mln for a majority stake in eFriendsNet Entertainment, which operates China's largest online dating website Yeeyoo.com. "Meetic made this acquisition because it wants to enter the social networking market in Mainland China in an efficient way," said eFriendsNet spokesperson Qi Xin. "The business model and profitability of China's social networking industry is becoming more clear and that has drawn more attention from foreign investors." Meetic has already transferred traffic from its Chinese website to Yeeyoo.com, and will also send senior staff from Europe to provide training to Yeeyoo.com's employees. Moreover, Meetic may also later purchase a 100% stake in eFriendsNet. Founded in December 2003, eFriendsNet provides online dating services via its internet portal Yeeyoo.com (4 million registered members), and is also a provider of mobile value-added services to China Mobile and China Unicom.