Contrary to most foreigners would believe, China is shifting to a much milder tone towards the country’s thriving LGBT community, especially when it comes to the online world. This is evident enough with the extent to which LGBT-related topics can be talked about online and the number of tech services that goes after this special group. It seems that the country’s tolerance for GLBT community is spreading from the cyber world to the real world.
Chinese gay chat and hook-up app Blued announced Tuesday that it has sealed eight-digit RMB strategic funding from the investment arm of The Beijing News, a state-backed newspaper group.
The expanding globalization initiative of Blued and its growth in live streaming, e-commerce, gaming healthcare and entertainment were the main reasons for this investment, according to a representative from the investor.
Like many Chinese companies, the Beijing-based startup has been pushing into the rest of the world. It now supports 13 languages and has set up offices in Thailand, Vietnam, and the U.K. In December last year, Blued made a strategic investment with U.S. dating app Hornet in an attempt to make forays into North American and Latin American markets.
The company is recording profits now thanks to thriving live streaming and mobile marketing businesses which have contributed hundreds of millions RMB of revenue in 2016. Revenue from live streaming is expected to maintain stable growth in 2017, while membership, gaming, and healthcare services are expected to become the new revenue growth points, according to the company.
“The current financing round is more of strategic meaning given that the company is booking profits now.” said Geng Le, CEO of the firm.
Born out of LGBT NGO Danlan, Blued has been active in improving the living status of this group.
“Sexual minority is still a highly controversial group, we need a proper channel to talk with the government and the public, letting them know what we are doing and what problems we can solve for society,” Geng said.