In what can be interpreted as move to a more accepting attitude towards LGBTI people, gay app Blued has secured state sponsored funding.
Originating in China, Blued is one of the biggest gay lifestyle and social network apps in the world with 27 million users and 7 million users logging in daily to use the app. Its slogan is ‘enjoy the gay life’.
The Beijing News a state sponsored newspaper invested 30 million RMB (USD$4.36 million) of strategic funding into Blued.
It was the second round of funding the Beijing News gave to Blued after it invested the same amount into the company in 2014.
Chinese ‘pink’ business
‘The gay business is a piece of virgin territory in China, and we hope to become a leader of this lucrative market,” said Blued founder Geng Le.
‘The substantial spending ability of gays and the funding support we got indicate the strong power of the so-called pink economy.’
Blued has recorded profits and invested into international markets with its e-commerce, live streaming, gaming healthcare and entertainment services.
Dating and social network apps are beyond the reach of Chinese censors who last year released a new set of guidelines which forbid homosexuality and other ‘abnormal sexual relationships and sexual behavior’ to screen on television.
While things are improving for LGBTI people in China, there is still a long way to go to achieve equality. But people are hopeful the state’s investment into apps like Blued and other LGBTI products show progress is being made.