Browsing the internet as a young policeman in China, Ma Baoli recalls the sheer volume of web pages telling him he was a pervert, diseased and in need of treatment -- simply because he was gay. Two decades later, the softly spoken year-old now helms Blued, one of the world's largest dating platforms for gay men. Parent company BlueCity's sunlit Beijing campus teems with young and casually dressed programmers who hold meetings in rooms named after Oscar Wilde and other prominent LGBTQ figures from around the world. The office boasts rainbow unicorn mascots, gender-neutral toilets and photos of Ma's meetings with dignitaries, including Chinese premier Li Keqiang.
China’s gay dating app Blued eyes Nasdaq IPO to expand overseas – TechCrunch
It was around 20 years ago when Baoli Ma hid in his bedroom feeling helpless and lonely for being a gay man in China. Life has changed dramatically for Ma since then. This week, BlueCity, the gay dating and lifestyle platform he created, has filed for an initial public listing on Nasdaq. The proceeds from the public offering will go towards investment in new technologies as well as expansion in domestic and international markets, which currently account for about half of its monthly users. In , he quit his job to launch Blued, the gay dating app under the parent entity BlueCity. Early on, Blued was widely seen as a copycat of Grindr — a Californian startup that was bought by a Chinese company before it was forced to sever ties over security concerns.
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Gay dating apps battle for supremacy in China
Most people have at least one horror story about online dating. It's a rite of passage that single people love to hate. On top of the classic awkward Hinge date anecdotes and screenshots of a corny bio seeping with secondhand embarrassment, gay singles deal with all sorts of alienating interactions. Still, dating apps have become crucial means of introduction for gay folks looking to settle down. A Stanford study and Pew Research survey found that meeting online has become the most popular way for U.
Blued, one of the biggest gay dating apps in the world, has succeeded because it plays by the ever-shifting rules for L. China — bringing together a minority community without activism. Illustration by Timo Lenzen.