China’s vibrant gay dating scene is attracting millions of dollars in investment, including from at least one state-controlled media group, even as embarrassed official censors curb the portrayal of openly homosexual characters on television and in other media.
With Chinese men signing up en masse for gay dating apps, the biggest such service — Blued (pronounced “Blue-duh”) — announced this week it was receiving “tens of millions” of renminbi (several million US dollars) in investment from The Beijing News, a state-run newspaper.
Blued, the number one gay app in China with 27 million total users will participate in the extension of the funding round.
“Hornet has one of the most successful growth rates of all the gay social apps on today’s global market,” comments Geng Le, CEO of Blued on the partnership.
But the reality is, these apps make users feel dehumanised, isolated and miserable.
The logo for Grindr, the app with 4m global users, is literally a mask.
The app announced that it had raised the money from venture capital fund Ventech China.
Hornet, founded in 2011, claims to be “the world’s second largest gay social network.” In a statement, Eric Huet managing partner at Ventech, who has joined the Hornet Board, said: “The platform combined with the user functionality is unparalleled.
Its users have almost doubled in number since then.No official explanation for the shutdown has been given by Chinese authorities.The shutdown led to widespread outrage among LGBTQ communities in China.But for the 70 million LGBTQ people in neighboring China, the news was bittersweet.Homosexuality has been legal in China since 1997, and the first proposal to legalize same-sex marriage in the country was submitted to the National People’s Congress meeting in 2003.
' These apps have proven to be cold, lonely and soul destroying places - whether you're considered one of the above, or not.