China Has The World’s Largest Gay Dating App – Blued
You might be surprised to learn that China now has the world’s largest gay dating app in the world – in terms of subscriber base. At the time when people in the United States were facing a hard time to make same sex marriages legal, a Chinese national named Ma Baoli came up with the amazing idea of launching a gay dating app.
Ma Baoli was a policeman in the Asian country’s Hebei province during the day. By night, he ran an online forum Danlan.org, which was exclusively for gays. Thanks to Mr. Ma’s vision, the project turned into an app and was loved by the country’s gay population. Launched in 2012, the app now has a staggering subscriber base of over 3 million daily active users. The idea was inspired by US-based gay dating app Grindr that reported having an active user base of 2 million as of 2015.
The makers of Blued are in no mood to stop here and are eyeing the IPO. In February, 2015 the company decided to take its business overseas and the response was overwhelming. According to reports, more than 10 percent of the total subscriber base now hails from outside China.
In an interview last year, Mr. Ma expects to raise anywhere from $50 million to $100 million in the next round of funding. According to industry experts, the company would use this money to expand their overseas business across the globe. It is to be noted that China decriminalized homosexuality in 1997 and the Chinese society of psychiatry unrecognized it as a mental disorder in 2001.
However, despite these efforts made by local authorities to recognize homosexuals in the country, a majority of the homosexual population in China prefers to stay in the closet. It has been said that it is the traditional teachings of Chinese scholar Confucius that prevents them from revealing their sexual orientation and preferences before the world. Nonetheless, the good news is that the younger generation is coming out of the closet, owing to their increasing acceptance in the society.
Thanks to the internet boon, people now seek help on the web and the launch of dedicated forums and apps have certainly helped the cause. According to Mr. Ma, founder of Blued, major Chinese retailers are now viewing the Chinese LGBT community as a prospective target demographic. He also said that 5 percent of China’s population is gay. Financial experts predict Blued to turn profitable by mid-2016 and expect an IPO following up soon.
While homosexuality isn't a crime in the country, same-sex marriages aren't legal yet. However, experts believe a law in favor of the LGBT community sometime in the future, which would certainly propel the market catering to the needs of the LGBT community.