Matchmaker Suffers Setback in Online Education

September 17, 2014
Editor: Frank Zhao
Matchmaker Suffers Setback in Online Education
Website of Jiayuan.com, founded by Gong Haiyan [Women of China]

China's mega matchmaker Gong Haiyan admitted her two online education websites' funds ran out in an email to her staff after her company was reported to be laying off employees, including all its tech staff.

Gong, founder of Jiayuan.com - one of China's leading online matchmaking platforms, has been widely referred to as China's first online matchmaker.

The day after she left her management job at Jiayuan.com, she embarked on starting her second business - online English education. In 2013 and earlier this year, she established three education websites, which she called her 'second business'.

"Given my blind optimism and rash advance in my second business, our product line is so strong that it burnt out investment in a few months. I am using my own money to back up the company's operations," said Gong in her email.

On September 15, Gong announced on her Weibo, China's twitter-like service, that she would shift her focus to one of her websites in online language teaching. "Around a circle, I returned to point zero," said Gong, referring to the first education website she set up, 91waijiao.com.

Gong became well-known for her first proper entrepreneurial experience, in which she started Jiayuan.com and developed it into a Nasdaq-listed company in 2011, eight years after she set it up.

Born to an impoverished family in a rural village in central China's Hunan Province, Gong began to support her family when she was in high school and had her first experience of making money by running a stationery shop. It made her realize it need not be that hard to turn a profit.

Gong stepped down from a management role at the online dating website in late 2012.

(Source: 163.com and ynxxb.com/Translated and edited by Women of China)

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