The charming, slightly geeky former investment banker might not seem like an obvious candidate to be a font of knowledge about the dating world, but he is an avid reader of psychology books and, as he says, “the stats never lie”.
offers two broad services: one is what Li calls a “self-service dating service” where members pay 400 yuan (US) a year to browse members’ profiles, chat and arrange dates; the other is a more exclusive offline, face-to-face matchmaking service that costs 4,000 yuan for six months.
“You can almost very accurately calculate for every 1,000 yuan salary increase how many more winks he will receive,” he 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.
Born in a suburb of Shanghai, Li trained as a molecular biologist at Cornell University in the US and, after realising he wasn’t suited to fiddling with Petri dishes in a lab, switched to Columbia University, where he earned a Ph D in finance.
After years working as a senior investment banker in the US and Hong Kong, he fulfilled his dream of setting up his own business.
A woman who has only one picture posted, is wearing a tight bikini and making an overly suggestive pose are usually clear signals to steer clear. One of the things I like about are the regular events thrown for the community, which include wine tastings and singles cruises.
“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.
She was a private equity fund manager at the time – now she’s a venture capitalist – and he was an executive director of equity derivatives at Morgan Stanley.
I recommend sites from time to time, not because I get a tiny commission if you click on the links and make a purchase, but because, I want you to focus on the places that will deliver you the most value and the best results.
When it comes to dating, Chinese men are most interested in what women look like, while women want to know about a man’s income.