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These Are Hookup Apps That People Actually Use In China

Tinder said it had a bunch of users in North Korea and China during its infamous tweetstorm this week. But these are the apps people really use in China.

Posted on August 12, 2015, at 9:36 p.m. ET

By now the world knows that Tinder went on a huge Twitter rant Tuesday night against Vanity Fair, accusing the magazine and the author of a new story for a report it said was "biased" that blamed it for starting a “Dating Apocalypse.”

Michelle Rial

In the midst of the storm came this tweet, claiming "many users" in China and North Korea.

Talk to our many users in China and North Korea who find a way to meet people on Tinder even though Facebook is banned.

Considering there isn't really, umm, internet in North Korea, that seems hard to believe. And as for Tinder being a big deal in China? Not quite.

First of all, China has Momo, a dating app that launched in 2011 (one year before Tinder). It's widely known as the "Magic Yuepao Tool" by users. Yuepao is Chinese internet slang meaning "hookup."

According to TalkingData, which provides mobile internet data analysis, Momo was the most downloaded dating app in China between January and March this year. On its website, Momo claims to have 180 million users worldwide.

There's also a perfect rip-off version of Tinder, called Tantan. Like Tinder, users swipe left or right to "pass" or "like" someone. The app's popularity was proven by a $5 million investment from Bertelsmann earlier this year.

And there's "Qing Chi Fan," in which one offers to buy a meal for another with "credits" they paid for. Those looking for free food and a potential relationship just sign up and wait to be chosen.

After that, there are also a bunch of apps focusing on niche markets. For example there's Liuliu, which sets up pet owners on the belief that it's easier to succeed in love with adorable pets...

Apps like Blued are tailored for gay people.

And a lot, lot more. The dating app market is basically exploding over in China, although many of them are kind of crappy, which you can often tell just by looking at their designs.

Apple App Store

Note: For those who recognize the app icon for QQ — yes, it's a regular chat app, but it has a long history of hooking people up by sending virtual "drifting bottles" to random users and letting people connect with nearby users.

Granted, Tinder might have a market for the roughly 600,000 foreigners who live in China and can afford pricey VPN services to get around the country's Great Firewall, which blocks Facebook, through which Tinder verifies users.

Apple App Store

And that, Tinder, is what dating app life is really like in China.

A BuzzFeed News investigation, in partnership with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, based on thousands of documents the government didn't want you to see.