Investors flock to gay 'hook-up' app

Written By Unknown on Rabu, 05 November 2014 | 23.58

4 November 2014 Last updated at 13:32

A "hook-up" app for gay men in China has secured $30m (£19m) funding from venture capitalists DCM.

Blued, created by social media site DanLan in 2012, claims to have 15 million active users.

According to news website Tech in Asia, those users seem to be mainly based in three cities - Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou.

Homosexuality in China was illegal until 1997 and defined as mental disorder until 2001.

Xiaofeng Wang, an analyst at Forrester Research, said in a report for the firm that data-light services such as messenger apps enjoyed high popularity in China because mobile internet speeds were slow.

However while dating and hook-up apps are openly used by heterosexuals - a flirting app called Momo has 52 million users - the gay scene in China is traditionally rather quiet.

"Beijing's gay community is often quite reserved," wrote Rupert Angus-Mann on a website about being a tourist in the city.

"You will not find many people who feel the need to broadcast their sexuality."

Official statistics suggest that there are 118 boys for every 100 girls born to Chinese families.

Mr Angus-Mann added that China's policy of allowing families to have only one child, in place since 1979, meant most people aged 29 and under had no siblings.

"When a son is gay, he faces a hugely difficult set of decisions and it makes coming out to his family infinitely more difficult.

"Not only is he telling them he is gay, that there will probably be no grandchildren, that there will be no wedding and no wife, he is also telling them that the family line, the rhythm of hundreds of years of Chinese tradition will end with him, because there is no brother who can step into the role."

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