Match.com buys stake in Chinese dating site

Match.com bought a 20 percent stake in Zhenai.com

Match.com announced on Wednesday it had acquired a 20 percent stake in a company behind one of China's largest online dating sites.

The company, Zhenai Inc., operates a Chinese dating site with more than 30 million registered users. The terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Match.com acquired the stake, noting it wanted to expand its global footprint in a fast-growing market. Match.com already has services in 25 countries, including China.

A Match.com spokeswoman said she wasn't sure if Match.com intends to continue to operate its own site in China, which competes with Zhenai.com. Foreign Internet companies have often struggled to break into the country's vast market and run their own businesses. Google, eBay, and most recently Groupon have all faced intense competition from Chinese Internet firms.

In the case of China's online dating market, Zhenai.com is just one of several leading players. Rival Jiayuan.com has 40 million registered user accounts. Earlier this year Jiayuan listed itself on the NASDAQ stock exchange.

Zhenai.com said in a statement it plans to leverage Match.com's knowledge to improve its services in China.

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