Chinese flirting app Momo shuts down its English version

Popular "one night stand" mobile app will disable its international counterpart on July 1st

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 19 June, 2014, 4:57pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 19 June, 2014, 5:02pm

Momo, the popular Chinese flirting app that recently crossed the 100 million download mark, has announced that it will shut down its international English-language sister app on July 1.

Users of the international version of Momo received a message on June 18 informing them that the English-language app - an entirely separate software that sports a slightly different icon than its Chinese counterpart - will be “discontinued” at the start of next month, The Next Web reported.

However, the company said it is currently developing a “brand new product,” indicating that the startup isn’t giving up on cracking international markets just yet.

The full text reads: "Dear user, thank you for staying with Momo. We have made a tough decision to discontinue this version on July 1st, 2014. We want to take the chance to thank you for always being there for us. You have been the driving force behind our mission to change the way people connect."

"Now we’re working on a brand new product featuring our exciting learnings along the way! It will be ready soon. We’re here to thank you again and answer any questions that you might have." 

Momo launched the English version of its flirting app in October 2012, a time when mobile messaging was exploding in popularity.

At the time, Momo claimed to have 10 million users on its domestic Chinese app, 10 per cent of whom resided abroad. 

Following its international launch, Momo began to grow its user base in mainland China, selling stickers and games as a means to bring in revenue.

The app's English version never received such updates, however, and currently sports a dated-looking user inferface reminiscent of Apple's iOS 6.

Momo is reportedly planning an IPO, which signals that the company may be intending to raise enough money to market abroad more aggressively in the future.

Momo isn’t the only Chinese social app that has struggled to find traction beyond the Middle Kingdom.

As of 2013, Tencent’s WeChat has reportedly accumulated over 300 million registered users - the majority of whom are domestic Chinese, with only about 70 million living outside of China. 

This article was originally reported by Tech in Asia and was edited and republished with permission.

Additional reporting by Jeremy Blum