China's square-dancing aunties now have an app to help perfect their routines

Public square dancing is very popular among women who want to live a more healthy and leisurely life.
Public square dancing is very popular among women who want to live a more healthy and leisurely life. PHOTO: CHINA DAILY/ ASIA NEWS NETWORK

BEIJING (CHINA DAILY/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - Square-dancing has long been a popular past-time among some of China's elderly and middle-aged women. Now, there's an app that aims to give China's square-dancing aunties an edge to perfect their routines.

The Tangdou Square Dance app, which caters to elderly and middle-aged women who live a more leisurely life and like to dance in public squares during their spare time, offers services such as free dancing tutorials and a communication platform to connect dancers in local communities.

On Thursday (Nov 24), the app's Beijing-based start-up and developer, announced its latest round of financing of US$5 million (S$7.1 million), with funding received so far totalling US$25 million.

Daily active users of the app have reached more than 2.5 million, with monthly active users hitting nearly 40 million, according to the company.

Zhang Yuan, founder and CEO of Tangdou, said the money that has been raised will be invested in products and development.

"We aim to build an entertainment and communication platform. I hope using Tangdou will become part of their lifestyles."

According to Zhang, the company's revenues are expected to come from fees collected from payments made by app users to buy gifts, products and services.

One frequent user of the app is 53-year-old Yu Huiping, who says she finds it helpful to learn new moves. "Dancing can help me relax and improve my health. I dance almost every evening. And I like talking to other dancers about new moves. That's why I find Tangdou to be useful," she said.

Public square dancing is among the most popular activities among women in China. Millions of women enjoy gathering at public squares, exercising in groups in the morning and at night.

A report released last year by Hangzhou Liumu Information Technology, the operator of Darfoo, an app similar to Tangdou, estimated that business related to public square dancing is worth about 1 trillion yuan (S$206.4 billion) in China.

Darfoo founder Fang Hui said in the report: "The dancing aunties actually hold the purse strings in Chinese families. ... There is an enormous business potential behind the dancing craze."