Blued, a Chinese gay flirting app, has entered a strategic partnership with U.S.-based dating app Hornet in an attempt to spread its popularity around the globe. As a part of the cooperation, Blued will invest an undisclosed sum as an extension of the 8 million USD A round Hornet announced in November.

Hornet, which claims to be the world’s second largest gay social network, has now registered over 15 million total users with 3 million monthly active users. The company has grown rapidly over the last year through the acquisition of gay city guide Vespa and LGBT content provider Unicorn Booty. Although Grindr and Scruff may dominate in the U.S., Hornet says it is the number one network in France, Russia, and Brazil.

It is worth noting that Ventech China, a shared investor behind the two companies, may have played a significant role in this partnership. As the leading investor in Hornet’s A round, Ventech China also participated in Blued’s C round.

“Hornet has one of the most successful growth rates of all the gay social apps on today’s global market,” said Geng Le, CEO of Blued. “We share a vision to bring gay apps outside of the first generation hook-up model and into digital homes for the gay community.”

Founded as a virtual community for gay men in 2000, Blued has grown rapidly along with changing public attitudes toward gay people. The app claims to be world’s largest gay social network with approximately 27 million total users and 3 million daily users. Around 80% of their users are in China.

China has seen a “pink economy” boom in recent years. In addition to Blued, a bunch of services like Zank, lesbian dating app The L, and Queers, an app designed to help young people arrange sham marriages between gay and lesbian people, have all seen massive growth. The trend is so strong that Chinese game developer Beijing Kunlun Tech Co. purchased a majority stake in world’s top gay dating app Grindr earlier this year.

Image Credit: Shutterstock

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Emma Lee

Emma Lee (Li Xin) was TechNode's e-commerce and new retail reporter until June 2022, when she moved to Sixth Tone to cover technology and consumption. Get in touch with her via or Twitter.