Life Is Short, Have An Affair
With their slogan ‘Life is short, have an affair’, online adultery dating service Ashley Madison makes no secret of what they’re about.
And after a very successful launch in the west (current membership 20 million cheaters and counting), they’ve set their sights on a new market apparently ripe for their services: China.
Huge Chinese Demand for Adultery Services?
The company is in an aggressive expansion mode at the moment, having just launched in Japan and India last year, and now seeking to make inroads into China’s unhappily married via its entry campaign in Hong Kong.
According to Noel Biderman, founder of Ashley Madison, Hong Kong residents are “in transition when it comes to relationships and marriage… that can lead to an interesting market.”
He claims massive Chinese demand for his adultery dating service is already there. “It’s a huge untapped market.” He notes the site received over 300,000 hits in Hong Kong last year, before any Cantonese campaigns or marketing had even been launched. And in the short time the website has been operating, the total number of Chinese hits is already over 650,000.
Hong Kong Residents: Opinions Divided
University of Hong Kong Social Work professor Lam Ching-man believes that Hong Kong residents are facing financial stresses, and the concept of marriage is becoming more fragile. This seems to be supported in part by Hong Kong’s fertility rates, which are amongst the lowest in the world.
Local Catholic diocese representative reverend Lawrence Lee however says Ashley Madison will disrupt marriages and families, and asks what possible good come from it, noting that Chinese culture tends traditionally to place a lot of value on marriage and families.
Biderman however counters that affairs help people avoid breaking up families. He posits that separating a family has a negative impact, whereas an undiscovered affair does not, adding that due to his service’s superlative discretion, their clients’ affairs are almost never discovered.
“It’s a reality of life,” Biderman concludes. “We are an unfaithful society.”
What’s your take on Biderman’s move to launch Ashley Madison in Hong Kong? Will Ashley Madison’s adultery dating service have a negative impact on society? Neutral? Or even positive? Is Biderman’s service immoral, or does it merely cater to and make more apparent existing attitudes towards relationship commitment and marriage? Let us know what you think, we love to hear your opinions!