Maybe it’s because the past year has all been a bit too surreal, or maybe it’s because companies were worried about repeating Volkswagen’s marketing prank mess up, but this year’s April Fools offered pretty slim pickings in China. One company raised a smile at least however: the most popular and widely circulated April 1 campaign in China for 2021 belongs to dating app Tantan.
In a video published on Chinese messaging-and-everything mega app WeChat today, the Product Director of Tantan is seen announcing the launch of a new version of the app — one that is particularly designed for full parental control in the dating game.
Playing on many young people’s worst nightmares when it comes to looking for love, the “launch” has gone viral and got a lot of people talking. (Though if you watch the video, it does not come with the greatest English subtitles in the world.)
（image: screenshot of the Tantan April Fools’ Day video published on the Chinese video-sharing platform 好看视频)
“Tantan, as a social [networking] brand, will soon embrace its 7th birthday. In the past 7 years, we’ve helped millions of boys and girls find love. But our work, compared with their parents, is not worth mentioning,” states the video. “Today, requested strongly by parents as a group, we specifically launched the latest version of Tantan, Tantan For Parents.”
The three core features, according to the video, will be 1) “Strict Parents” — allowing parents to get access to the dating profile of their kids and do the first screening of dating options; 2) “Command Your Account” — empowering parents to reverse past matches and have the ultimate say in whether someone is swipe-right material or not, or alternatively allowing parents to directly lock in an engagement online through sending an instant digital dowry; and 3) a horrifying weekly newsletter detailing the relationship status of other people’s children.
“How did you do it that every feature is making me breathless,” one of the top comments reads under the video.
The joke is well executed — but partly because it’s all too believable.
For years, Chinese parents have been known for their excessive enthusiasm in meddling in the romantic relationships of their young children — one representation of this is Shanghai Marriage Market, a notorious gathering in downtown Shanghai where parents and relatives gather to set up booths to advertise their children or grandchildren for marriage.
Film of Shanghai Marriage Market by “Leftover Woman” Goes Viral
So like a lot of young people in China today, this made us laugh — but we really hope Tantan is not seriously considering it….
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