Chinese gay dating app BlueCity eyes Asia expansion after Nasdaq debut

REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton

China’s biggest gay dating app’s owner BlueCity is focused on expanding in Asia, its founder said on Wednesday after it made its Nasdaq debut despite a U.S. securities regulator warning against investments in Chinese firms.

BlueCity, which says its Blued app already has the largest market share in China, India, South Korea and Vietnam, raised $84.8 million in an initial public offering which valued the Beijing-based company at $614 million.

“We will make further expansion after in-depth evaluation,” BlueCity’s founder and chief executive Ma Baoli said when asked if the company would turn its focus to Western markets.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo last month urged stock exchanges globally to tighten rules for Chinese companies.

Founded in 2011, BlueCity says it has 49 million registered users in more than 210 countries, and 6 million monthly active users (MAUs), 49% of them outside China.

Although India recently banned 59 Chinese apps, including Bytedance’s TikTok and Tencent’s WeChat, after border clashes with China, Blued was not on the list.

“We have faith in making the local government and regulator trust us,” Ma said, adding that the app’s data privacy protection met India’s standards.

Gay dating app Grindr was accused of leaking personal data to Beijing-based engineers last after it was bought by Beijing Kunlun Tech. Kunlun sold its Grindr stake last month after the U.S. government ordered the divestment.

“We are capable of conforming to local governments’ regulation requirements,” Ma said. “We store overseas customers’ data overseas out of security concerns and retrieval speed.”

Ma also said BlueCity is in the process of buying a Chinese lesbian app to diversify its business and revenue.

Reuters

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.