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Wang Yu of Tantan on Scaling China’s Top Dating App

Season 1

Episode 32

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Interviewed by Hans Tung and Zara Zhang.

We interviewed Wang Yu (王宇), the co-founder and CEO of Tantan (探探), China’s leading dating app. Tantan is social app that help young people in China connect with one another. It has a slide-left slide-right interface. Only when two users both slide right on each other can they start a conversation. The company was founded in 2014 and has helped users make over 10 billion matches to date. In 2018, Tantan was acquired by Momo (陌陌) for $735 million. Momo is a top location-based social networking platform in China that help people meet strangers around them. It is also one of the leading live streaming platforms in China. It is a public company on the NASDAQ and its current market cap is around $6.8 billion.

Wang Yu was born in Beijing and grew up in Sweden. He holds two master’s degrees, one on computer science and one in industrial economics. In 2007, he moved back to China and started his first business P1, a fashion community, before founding Tantan in 2014.

During this episode, Yu discussed how the failure of his first startup P1 proved crucial to the success of Tantan, why flawless execution is more important than flawless product in China, whether any social apps in China will be able to challenge WeChat, and the advantages and disadvantages of being an overseas Chinese returnee entrepreneur.

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