The dating Web site Ashley Madison’s membership in Taiwan has risen 70 percent following last month’s ruling by the Council of Grand Justices decriminalizing adultery, and the majority of new members are women.
The Canadian-based dating and social networking service, launched in 2002, targets married people or those who are in relationships.
Ashley Madison chief strategist Paul Keable on Thursday said Asia was unique for the Web site, as women make up the majority of its membership, adding that 1.9 million members are from Taiwan.
He said the site used to see about 2,400 new members from Taiwan per month, but in the first 10 days after the council’s May 29 ruling, there were 1,360 new Taiwan-registered accounts — a 70 percent increase compared with the same period in a typical month.
The average age of the site’s members is 34, while users aged 30 to 50 made up more than half of Taiwan’s members, Keable said.
Female members from Taiwan were on average aged 38 to 40, while men were 40 to 44, he said, adding that most members are married, but some were single people who want to have relations with married people.
Married men on the service cited their wife being pregnant as the No. 1 reason for seeking an extramarital affair, with other sudden major changes in relationships cited as reasons, Keable said.
Research showed that about 80 percent of people who sought affairs said they were in love with their partners, but were unhappy or missing something in their lives, he said.
Now that adultery has been decriminalized in Taiwan, maybe people could talk to their partners honestly about having an affair, Keable said.
While new female members in Taiwan largely outnumber new male members, there were already more women in the nation using the service, he said.
Taiwan ranks No. 18 on the Web site for most members per nation, but seventh for the number of paying members, he said.
However, Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Fan Yun (范雲), who was a National Taiwan University associate professor, said there is no correlation between the decriminalization of adultery and an increase in extramarital affairs, citing statistics from Japan and China.
Awakening Foundation general secretary Chou Yu-hsuan (周于萱) said that Ashley Madison’s increased membership could be an indication that the grand justices’ ruling had empowered women to pursue their desires.
The ruling was not intended to encourage people to have affairs and she did not condone people joining the Web site, she said.
Chen Yi-chu (陳怡朱), Mothers Shield Alliance’s secretary-general, said the increase in the site’s female membership was not surprising, given that women have been leading the sexual liberation movement for the past several years in Taiwan.
Ashley Madison gained international notoriety after hackers in 2015 released the personal data of 30 million members.
Two years later it was discovered that a flaw in the Web site’s default data settings left users’ private photographs exposed.
Additional reporting by Wu Po-hsuan and Yang Mien-chieh
ONGOING PROBE: A former Military Intelligence Bureau colonel, major general and another colonel, as well as five other people, have been questioned by prosecutors The Taipei District Court yesterday ordered that a retired colonel from the Military Intelligence Bureau (MIB) calling himself Taiwan’s “first special agent” be detained and held incommunicado as part of an ongoing investigation into espionage allegations targeting at least three former bureau officials. The Taipei District Prosecutors’ Office was seeking to detain former MIB colonel Chang Chao-jan (張超然) over his alleged involvement in introducing retired agents to Chinese national security authorities and passing confidential documents to China. Chang’s actions, if proven, would contravene the National Security Act (國家安全法), which carries a prison term of three to 10 years, and the National Intelligence
The US House of Representatives’ China Task Force, launched by Republicans earlier this year, yesterday proposed the China task force act, a package of 137 pieces of legislation, seven of which involve Taiwan, in the hope of getting it passed before the 117th US Congress convenes on Jan. 3. The act encompasses a wide range of issues, including combatting Beijing’s influence around the globe, establishing the US’ dominance in determining 5G network standards and means for bringing UN members to task for abusing their influence within the UN system. The seven acts involving Taiwan address concerns such as the Taiwan Assurance Act
Chinese health authorities investigating a COVID-19 outbreak have said that they discovered live coronavirus on frozen food packaging, a finding that suggests the virus can survive in cold supply chains. The Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention on Saturday said that it had found traces of live COVID-19 on the outer packaging of frozen cod in the eastern city of Qingdao, marking the first time that live coronavirus has been detected on the outside of refrigerated goods. Researchers were investigating the source of a cluster of cases linked to a hospital in Qingdao. Genetic traces had previously been found in samples of
A Chinese soldier apprehended earlier this week by the Indian Army after he strayed across a tense de facto border was on Tuesday night handed back to China, an Indian government source in New Delhi said yesterday. The Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) soldier had on Monday been captured in the Demchok area of eastern Ladakh, the Indian Army said in a statement. The Chinese military also released a statement, saying that Corporal Wang Yalong was handed over early yesterday. New Delhi on Monday said that it had detained Wang after he crossed into Indian-controlled territory, while China announced that Wang had gotten