It’s a self-imposed criteria – she can always find a mate,” Li says.
For women, salary doesn’t affect how many winks they receive – until they earn 50,000 yuan or more, when they see the number of winks tail off slightly.
Sharing other insights into Zhenai.com’s data, Li says that on average, women prefer men who are three years older than them, while men seem to prefer women three years younger than them, but that changes the wealthier the men are.
After years working as a senior investment banker in the US and Hong Kong, he fulfilled his dream of setting up his own business.
First came Me Me Star, a short message-based chat forum that he sold to the Chinese telecom firm Sina.
The matchmaker does a lot more than just introduce people, she – and it’s always a woman as apparently both men and women feel more comfortable discussing their romantic life with a woman – is also responsible for “managing expectations”, solving misunderstandings and serving as a middle person to ask embarrassing questions.
For example, if a woman is interested in a man, but doesn’t want to appear to come on too strong by asking serious questions about the future, she gets her matchmaker to do it.
Following a one-year “lock-up period” imposed by Sina he set up a music sharing company that eventually pivoted to become
“I wanted to create an online community for music lovers, but we noticed that the people who came to this community were really there to meet other singles so I decided that I’d just go straight to dating,” says Li, who met his wife Kathy at a drinks event in Hong Kong.
That’s according to Dr Song Li, founder of Zhenai.com, one of China’s biggest matchmaking sites – who apologises if his findings may not seem “politically correct”. Professors at the University of Hong Kong or a university in the UK or US might be interested in using our data to study the psychology of love,” says Li, who has the infectious enthusiasm and quirky personality commonly seen among bona fide serial entrepreneurs.
“I’d love it if our data could contribute to society.” He’s not kidding about the volume of data.
Zhenai has 50 matchmaking centres in 37 cities across China, and Li says he expects the company to generate 1.5 billion yuan in revenue and 200 million yuan in net profit this year.