For Beijingers Looking To Hook Up: There's An App For That

What is the Big Idea?


A new mobile app that helps young Beijingers hook up is a runaway hit, according to Economic Observer. Weixin, which means "tiny message" uses geolocation to track and message other app users within a one kilometer radius to "engineer" an encounter with a stranger around Beijing's high-end offices and hotels.

A Tencent QQ account is the only log-in option. The instant messaging service has a lion's share of China's registered users already signed up with QQ, and that means Weixin is an option for more than 711 million active accounts. In other words, just about every single Internet user in China is registered with Weixin, a name that is also a homonym that means "for sex."

Read the full story in English or Chinese.

What is the Significance?

Young, hipster Chinese aren't only getting wealthier or more fashionable, they're also more emboldened by their newfound wealth. Casual sexual encounters are turning the government's heavy Internet censorship, communist stronghold and conservative Confucian values on its head.

"There is no shame attached to this popular new app. Shame would require a moral context -- and since most of the users are well-educated city-dwelling hipsters who expect to do what they please, go where they want, and surf online at any moment...moral stances are in relatively short supply," Zhu Chong writes in the Economic Observer.

It's mostly men making the initiative and they are usually on the prowl for "yue pao" which translates to an "appointment bang." A man's chances of scoring are increased if he is rich, tall or smart. If he's no Jude Law, then a picture of his BMW or an address to the Ritz Carlton will do the trick.

Similar apps were launched at SXSW this year that uppped the creepy quota for hooking up. Highlight was the most talked about app that alerts users on their iPhones, with push notifications, that other app users with similar interests are nearby.

Related Articles

Scientists discover what caused the worst mass extinction ever

How a cataclysm worse than what killed the dinosaurs destroyed 90 percent of all life on Earth.

Credit: Ron Miller
Surprising Science

While the demise of the dinosaurs gets more attention as far as mass extinctions go, an even more disastrous event called "the Great Dying” or the “End-Permian Extinction” happened on Earth prior to that. Now scientists discovered how this cataclysm, which took place about 250 million years ago, managed to kill off more than 90 percent of all life on the planet.

Keep reading Show less

Why we're so self-critical of ourselves after meeting someone new

A new study discovers the “liking gap” — the difference between how we view others we’re meeting for the first time, and the way we think they’re seeing us.

New acquaintances probably like you more than you think. (Photo by Simone Joyner/Getty Images)
Surprising Science

We tend to be defensive socially. When we meet new people, we’re often concerned with how we’re coming off. Our anxiety causes us to be so concerned with the impression we’re creating that we fail to notice that the same is true of the other person as well. A new study led by Erica J. Boothby, published on September 5 in Psychological Science, reveals how people tend to like us more in first encounters than we’d ever suspect.

Keep reading Show less

NASA launches ICESat-2 into orbit to track ice changes in Antarctica and Greenland

Using advanced laser technology, scientists at NASA will track global changes in ice with greater accuracy.

Firing three pairs of laser beams 10,000 times per second, the ICESat-2 satellite will measure how long it takes for faint reflections to bounce back from ground and sea ice, allowing scientists to measure the thickness, elevation and extent of global ice
popular

Leaving from Vandenberg Air Force base in California this coming Saturday, at 8:46 a.m. ET, the Ice, Cloud, and Land Elevation Satellite-2 — or, the "ICESat-2" — is perched atop a United Launch Alliance Delta II rocket, and when it assumes its orbit, it will study ice layers at Earth's poles, using its only payload, the Advance Topographic Laser Altimeter System (ATLAS).

Keep reading Show less