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Rising sign-ups show Tantan is aggressive in India

Tantan, which is the most popular dating app in China with over 270 million users globally, competes with Tinder, Truly Madly, Happn, Azar and Bumble in India.

, ET Bureau|
Updated: May 15, 2019, 02.44 PM IST
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Chinese dating app plans to take on Tinder in one of the world’s largest online dating markets.
Bengaluru: Tantan, a Chinese dating application that was launched in India last year, says it is doubling its user base every three months in the country, as it plans to take on Tinder in one of the world’s largest online dating markets.

Tantan, which is the most popular dating app in China with over 270 million users globally, competes with Tinder, Truly Madly, Happn, Azar and Bumble in India. Tantan is the world’s third-largest earner after Tinder and Bumble, according to Sensor Tower, a market intelligence firm.

“Indian market is one of the biggest markets for online dating, considering the youth population being really high,” said Rahul Maheshwari, India Head at Tantan. “Our user base comprises young millennials with an average age of 24, residing in tier 1 and tier 2 cities of India.”

The company did not disclose the number of user downloads from India.

Indian market should have 200 million plus potential users by 2021, according to Tantan.

Tantan's international team has over 5 people with a consistent focus on India. It plans to start an office in India in the upcoming months, and will hire more talents in India to help our growth.

In the last three years, as data charges have dropped dramatically, young Indians started browsing the Internet for the first time, mostly through mobile phones. Online dating is fast becoming a competitive space in the country, and with half the country’s population under the age of 25, the potential for dating apps is huge. Tinder entered India in 2013 and became an instant hit.

“We have big plans for India with an open budget. Most of the investments would be directed towards growing markets in tier 2 cities and educating the youth to try new ways of expanding their social circle and even finding the right one,” Maheshwari said, adding the app is targeting young singles between the ages of 18 and 26.

It is aiming at a male to female ratio of 7:3, which it says is similar to the ratio of males to females in terms of internet usage in India.

“The problem with online dating applications in India is lack of differentiation from Tinder,” said Sanchit Vir Gogia, founder of Greyhound Research. “Then, there is duplication of the same profiles across dating platforms. Another problem is, lack of genuine profiles. What we need to ask is the number of connections made through the application, which would really show the adoption.”

Tantan works on a freemium model where users can pay for some value-added services, such as for example, to see users who have liked them, or to increase exposure for a certain period. The company claims it provides users with a chance to meet real people online and eventually, offline as well.

“Unlike other apps, you don't come across fake profiles on Tantan. Apart from our system, our moderation ensures that we curate real profiles,” Maheshwari said. “We are soon coming out with a verification feature in India where users can verify their photos with the help of technology.”
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