MARKETS & INVESTING | Staff Reporter, Hong Kong

Ashley Madison lands in Hong Kong

Adultery website expects big business in the city.

The U.S.-based website promoting adultery with the slogan, "Life is short. Have an affair,” launched in Hong Kong last week to the consternation of religious and family planning groups.

One of the best known websites promoting “married dating,” Ashley Madison claims to have over 20 million users in some 15 countries. It opened in Japan and India last year.

Noel Biderman, founder of the Ashley Madison, expects his service to be wildly popular in Hong Kong, noting the website received around 320,000 Hong Kong hits in the past year without the company spending anything on marketing.

Hong Kong data shows that 30 out of 100 married couples filed for divorce in 2011 or twice the number in 1991. The number of divorce cases hit a record high of 21,125 in 2012.

Biderman sees Hong Kong as a stepping stone for an entry into China. Over 640,000 people from China tried to access Ashley Madison in the past year before it was available. Biderman said this shows a lot of pent-up demand in China.


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