A subsidiary of U.S.-based InternetArray named Noobis, whose name phonetically can sound similar to a derogatory term for "cow vagina" in Chinese, is trumpeting its arrival into China.
The ill-named company says it is developing an online matchmaking service — purportedly for humans and not for bovine — to be tested initially in Kunming.
"China has been a challenge for many companies because they do not understand the culture and how to navigate its regulatory environment like our people do," stated Jon Brennan, president and CEO of Noobis, in a press release. Brennan apparently overlooked the irony of his statement.
China's Internet space is riddled with hundreds of matchmaking and social networking websites. In fact, matchmaking companies are technically illegal to be run by foreigners in China, so it is unclear how InternetArray has registered its company in China, how it is capitalized, and through what sort of local company it is dealing. The company's lone press statement makes no mention of these details.
UUZone.com, one of the first social networking service websites in China, has published a notice stating it will close all services in March 2009, and South Korea's largest social networking website Cyworld announced its decision to withdraw from the Taiwanese market in December 2008. Matchmaking websites are also frequent targets for local police who attempt to stop online trading of sex and pornographic materials.