The dating app helping gay Chinese men banish the blues — and AIDS

Ma Baoli lost his job and his family when his secret life emerged, but now he runs a dating app with more than 3 million users. The challenge is turning the popular app into a commercial enterprise. By day, he was a police officer in northern China with a wife and a knack for street chases. By night, he led a life as a gay man, furtively running a website for gay people across China at a time when many were viewed as criminals and deviants. For 16 years, Ma kept his secret, worried that coming out would mean expulsion from the police force and estrangement from his family. Then in , his superiors at a police department in Qinhuangdao, a coastal city in Hebei province, uncovered his website, and he resigned. His job lost, his family struggling to accept his sexuality, Ma set out to turn his passion for connecting gay people into an empire. Ma, 39, said he saw his mission as working to legitimize same-sex relationships at a time when gay people, especially in China, still face discrimination. Like many popular technology startups in China, Blued is only beginning to make a profit; most of its services, including chat, live-streaming and a news feed, are free. Attracting advertising remains difficult, with some companies reluctant to be associated with a business that caters to gay people.

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China’s Blued gay dating app owner plans Nasdaq IPO

Blued is a LIVE gay social network with more than 40 million users. Blued connects you with gay men from around the world, or right next door. Make new friends, watch LIVE content, meet hot guys, expand your LGBT network, and broadcast yourself to the largest gay friendly livestreaming audience in the world! Express yourself and be with friends LIVE – anywhere, anytime.

(Bloomberg) — The owner of Blued, China’s biggest LGBTQ dating app, has filed for a U.S. initial public g-based BlueCity.

The company has been meeting potential advisers about the proposed listing, the people said, asking not to be identified as the discussions are private. Besides providing dating services to its 40 million users, the app also offers live streaming and connects men who want to become parents with overseas surrogates.

Blued has said that it has its eyes on an initial public offering–ideally in the U. The trick for Geng will be convincing investors that he can expand his operations in a country where gay people have few legal protections and every new service pushes the frontiers of government tolerance and social acceptance. Deliberations are at an early stage, and details of the offering could change, the people said.

To contact the reporters on this story: Crystal Tse in Hong Kong at ctse44 bloomberg. To contact the editors responsible for this story: Fion Li at fli59 bloomberg. Are you looking for a stock? Try one of these. News Video. News Video Berman’s Call. Related Video Up Next.

China’s gay dating app owner plans Nasdaq IPO in Pride Month

Plan for Nasdaq listing comes despite rising scrutiny of China issues. Securities and Exchange Commission on Tuesday. BlueCity’s move comes as U.

Beijing-based BlueCity Holdings, owner of China’s biggest dating app Blued, has filed for a U.S. initial public offering.

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A few days ago, I warned my wife that the experiment I was about to engage in was entirely non-sexual, lest she glance over my shoulder at my iPhone. Then I installed the gay hookup app Grindr. I set my profile photo as a cat, and carefully turned off the “show distance” feature in the app’s privacy settings, an option meant to hide my location. A minute later I called Nguyen Phong Hoang, a computer security researcher in Kyoto, Japan, and told him the general neighborhood where I live in Brooklyn.

For anyone in that neighborhood, my cat photo would appear on their Grindr screen as one among hundreds of avatars for men in my area seeking a date or a casual encounter.

America’s government viewed one gay-dating app with Chinese ties as a national-security concern. Can another that has just listed in New.

Blued is currently the largest gay social network app in the world. The application is available on Android and iOS. In , when his superiors discovered the website, Geng Le lost his family and job. Committed to the legitimisation of same-sex relationships in China, he created Blued, the first gay social network app. Today, Blued employs over staff at its headquarters in Beijing, China, and has recently opened new offices in London, UK, and India to overview the rapid expansion of the app overseas.

Within 4 years, Blued has become the largest gay social network in the world with over 27 million registered users. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. This article is missing information about Ownership. Please expand the article to include this information. Further details may exist on the talk page.

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Former cop builds China’s most popular gay-dating app. Originally published January 1, at pm. Ma Baoli, the founder of Blued, a gay-dating app with.

The year-old Mr Ma spent nearly two decades as a closeted policeman in small-town China before founding a gay-dating app called Blued. An international edition of the app was released in The rest are mainly in other parts of Asia. Growth has been brisk. These come mainly from sales of in-app virtual gifts, advertising and membership fees which let users skip ads, for example. Blued is still loss-making. But that is not holding back ambitions.

America, where gay dating is more mainstream than in most of Asia, is the big pot of gold. Is it attainable? Blued has so far avoided the sort of scrutiny from American regulators that befell another gay-dating app with Chinese ties: Grindr. CFIUS did not disclose the reason for its decision. One obvious worry relates to the potential for blackmail. Its relative obscurity may shield it from examination for a while.

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