OPW CEO Interview -- May 27, 2005 -- Click2Asia is focused solely on the Asian dating market and competes with AsiaFriendFinder and AsianAvenue. Pierre Wuu co-founded Click2Asia in 1999 and talks about his company and the Hong Kong internet dating convention (photos). - Mark Brooks
Pierre Wuu - During the internet heyday Click2Asia was an Asian online portal. In late 2002 we adjusted our business model and focused on Asian online dating. Now we have two major divisions; nationwide events and online dating. We get quite a lot of Yahoo and Match defectors because we're so focused. They offer 'Asian.' We offer 23 breakouts so there are a lot more Asian subcategories for people to search on.
How is Click2Asia different from Asiafriendfinder and Asian Avenue?
Many of the Asia FriendFinder women are overseas Asian and many of the men tend to be non-Asian. Our site focuses more on the core U.S. Asian community. We don't have many overseas women. Asian Avenue tends to be a much younger demographic. Their average age is early twenties whereas our demographic is more late 20's.
Where are most of your members?
L.A. and San Francisco followed by NY and pockets of Seattle, Houston, Chicago, Atlanta and Vancouver. All in line with US census. Asians represent 4% of the U.S. population which is roughly 12 million.
How did the Asian internet dating convention go?
It went well, Marc did a great job. We got to network and learn a lot about the Asian market. It opened my eyes in terms of what they are doing in China. Especially the mobile and seeing how much further advanced beyond the USA they are. It's a huge market with a lot of upside but it has it's share of challenges; namely pricepoint and payment procurement. You can have tens of thousands of subscribers but may only get $4-$7 a month. Also, payment can be up to 3-6 months delayed. For example, with China telecom, we could be waiting 3-6 months for payment. Online dating in Asia is huge but it shouldn't be treated as homogeneous market. Korea, Phillipines, China, Singapore, Vietnam, all need to be treated very differently. Finally, the advancement of the mobile technology is way ahead of North America; texting, paging, use of mobile devices and how they pay with mobile.
How much are they willing to pay?
In China people are willing to pay 20-25% of the U.S. online personals memberships; $4-$7 a month. However, for events, we should be able to get 50% of the U.S. market rate. There's definitely a group of people who will pay a higher price point at events, there's a finite number of tickets, but it's better to be less expensive with online dating to maintain critical mass.
How about the presentation on the Indian market?
The presentation on the Indian market opened my eyes. They don't typically date. They are more interested in marriage. It's a totally different approach.
What does the future hold for Click2Asia?
We're looking at Asia and expanding our network within North America. When you look at the Jewish market, Jews in North America represent half of the Asian market. So you can see the ethnic online dating market has huge potential. We want to make inroads on the kinds of numbers Jdate are doing. Jdate is a good comparison for our future potential.