‘Alike’ is a new dating, friend app for Asians, Pacific Islanders – Business Insider

  • Alike is a new dating and friendship app for the Asian and Pacific Islander communities.
  • The app was created by Hanmin Yang, a Korean-Canadian entrepreneur living in Toronto.
  • With Alike, Yang wants to “celebrate the Asian experience” by creating connections and a sense of community.

Hanmin Yang, a Korean-Canadian entrepreneur living in Toronto, experienced a lot of racism as a kid growing up in Canada. Without many childhood friends, he spent a lot of time consuming popular films and TV, and he internalized racism because of how Asians were portrayed. 

Decades later, following a divorce and multiple career pivots, he got the idea to create an app where users could connect and heal from past racial traumas together.

That led to Alike, a dating and friendship app for the Asian and Pacific Islander community that recently launched in Canada and the US. The video-based platform aims to “celebrate the Asian experience” by fostering meaningful connections between its users to build a sense of community, according to its website.


Yang started developing Alike in 2019 as a dating app meant to be a safe space for Asian and Pacific Islanders. In his research, Yang saw an app targeting East Asians that deeply disturbed him.

“It was so disgusting for the female Asian fetish,” Yang said. “For one example, the women used the app for free, but the men would pay.”

He wanted to create an app that fights the hypersexualization of Asian women and the emasculation of Asian men, both phenomena rooted in historical xenophobic propaganda, anti-immigration sentiment, and depictions by old Hollywood films —  phenomena still reinforced today by our current TV shows and movies.

At the same time, Yang said Alike is meant to be complementary to the mainstream dating apps we all know.

“We’re not saying only date other Asians,” Yang said. “Users typically are using three to four dating apps simultaneously, so we’re just providing another option.”

Preferences for dating can be set for seeking a man, woman, or nonbinary person in any combo. When female users began requesting a feature for making friends, Yang expanded Alike, and only users of the same gender can connect with one another in the friendship feature of Alike so it’s not abused.

Alike reinforces finding meaningful connections by designing a few things differently than mainstream apps.


Source: https://www.businessinsider.com/alike-new-dating-friendship-app-asians-pacific-islanders-aapi-2021-10

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