Grindr, the world’s largest dating app for the LGBT community, has set up shop in Taiwan, lured by the economic potential of the island’s tolerant attitudes to homosexuality that are unusual for Asia.
“Taiwan is the first nation in Asia to legalize gay marriage,” said the company’s chief technology officer Scott Chen Jun-yang, who will head Grindr’s office in Taiwan.
“It is an open society that is tolerant of sexual minorities.
“It also has strong tech talents that are relatively affordable,” he said.
The company, which has 40 million registered users worldwide, has just constructed an office in the Xinyi Breeze Center.
Chen is currently recruiting software engineers, offering handsome pay packages that range from an annual NT$1.5 to NT$3 million.
Chen, who joined Facebook early on to help develop the company’s machine learning algorithms, said he is searching for specialists in DevOps, Java back-end management, Android and iOS systems.
“Taiwanese have a strong work ethic and are reliable employees,” said Chen, who obtained a doctorate at the California Institute of Technology.
“There are no limits for those at the top of their game,” said Chen, meaning that he would lavishly reward employees who had suitable talent.
The company declined to give further details about its plans for its Taiwan operations.
Grindr actively leverages the ecosystem of the “pink economy” – a term which refers to products and services catering to sexual minorities. It was acquired from founder Joel Simkhaiby by Chinese tech firm Kunlun Tech at the start of this year for US$152 million.
Grindr’s business model centers on generating revenues from membership fees and advertising. More than 3.8 million of its registered users use the app daily.
Grindr sees the “pink economy” in Taiwan as having potential. Its business plans dovetail with the Taiwanese government’s ambitions to utilize Taiwan’s open culture to make the island a hub.
In addition to its welcoming attitude to the LGBT community, Taiwan is one of Asia’s most vibrant democracies. Its media has been ranked the freest in Asia, according to the World Press Freedom Index released by Reporters Without Borders.