Type of site
Social networking service
Founded1997; 27 years ago (1997)
205 Hudson Street, 6th Floor
New York City, New York
OwnerUrban One
Current statusRedirected to BlackPlanet

AsianAve or Asian Avenue was a social networking service that focused on Asian Americans. The platform was shut down and the URL now redirects to its sister site, BlackPlanet.


Originally named AsianAvenue (or Asian Avenue), the site was launched on July 21, 1997[1] by co-founders Benjamin Sun, Peter Chen, Grace Chang, Michael Montero, and Calvin Wong. By 1998, The New York Times described it as "unusually successful" despite being "run out of an apartment", having hit five million page views from 50,000 users.[2]

Members were politically active, protesting an MSNBC headline for the 1998 Winter Olympics reading "American beats out Kwan", referring to U.S. Olympic teammates Tara Lipinski and Michelle Kwan.[2] In 1999, members protested an ad for SKYY vodka showing a partly dressed white woman being served by a woman in a Mandarin dress and chopsticks in her hair,[3] which the protesters said perpetuated racial stereotypes.[4] After some 300 postings on Asian Avenue were forwarded to SKYY, the company agreed to stop using the ad.[3]

The site received over 70,000 unique visitor hits in August 2000.[5] At its peak, there were over 2 million users with more than 5000 online at any time.[citation needed] Robert X. Cringely claimed in 2000 that Asian Avenue had more members than BlackPlanet, a Community Connect sister site.[6]

Fine Line Features chose the site for an exclusive interview with Chinese NBA star Yao Ming to promote its documentary The Year of the Yao. One writer characterized it "mainly an Internet dating site"[7] In 2003, Darrell Hamamoto used an interview on the site to attract male talent for his adult film Skin to Skin, using the "unheard of" pairing of an Asian-American male performer with Asian-American woman.[8]

At one point the site made various previously free features available only to premium users, which hurt the site's popularity. On October 31, 2005, the website relaunched the social network features.[citation needed] As of April 2007, there were 1.4 million registered users with fewer than 100 online at any given time.[citation needed]

Partners include party promoters (Synergy), film festivals (Toronto Reel Asian International Film Festival, Asian American International Film Festival), media (, AZN TV) and many more. Music artists, such as Notorious MSG, Far*East Movement, and Magnetic North have gained popularity from their exposure on[original research?] In 2010, announced a co-branded partnership with Asian Avenue. Based on a small questionnaire members filled out when signing up for a membership, Monster generated a list of potential job openings and interests, which was displayed after users signed into AsianAvenue.

In October 2007, U.S. presidential candidate Barack Obama created profiles on AsianAve as well as sister sites BlackPlanet, and[9]

AsianAvenue allowed users to see who visited their profiles, in contrast to Facebook, where browsing is entirely private. Members can view a list of members that have looked at their site on their main profile page.

The site was shut down and the URL is now redirected to its sister site, BlackPlanet.


  1. ^ "Company Timeline". Community Connect. Archived from the original on 2008-05-18. Retrieved 2008-07-10.
  2. ^ a b Anthony Ramirez (April 12, 1998). "NEIGHBORHOOD REPORT: NEW YORK ON LINE; One Site, 14 Ethnic Groups". The New York Times. Retrieved 2007-10-06.
  3. ^ a b Kim Girard (August 31, 1999). "Vodka maker clips ad after community criticism". CNet. Retrieved 2007-10-05.
  4. ^ Courtney Kane (September 2, 1999). "Vodka Ad Is Stopped After Racism Protest". The New York Times. Retrieved 2007-09-26.[dead link]
  5. ^ "Group Think: Community Connect has created ethnic associations on the net. Can it also make money?". The Wall Street Journal. October 23, 2000. Archived from the original on 22 September 2007. Retrieved 2007-10-05. Mirrored on Community Connect website.
  6. ^ Robert X. Cringely (August 17, 2000). "If You Build It, They Will Come: What BlackPlanet Teaches Us About the True Nature of the Internet". PBS. Retrieved 2007-10-05.
  7. ^ Grace Niwa (May 6, 2005). "Lessons from Yanking 'The Year of the Yao'". Asian Week. Archived from the original on August 15, 2007. Retrieved 2007-10-05.
  8. ^ Harry Mok (October 10, 2003). "Yellow porn". Archived from the original on 11 October 2007. Retrieved 2007-10-05.
  9. ^ Vargas, Jose Antonio (October 6, 2007). "Barack Obama, Social Networking King". The Washington Post. Archived from the original on November 5, 2011.