China’s Gay App Blued To Sell Stock & Expand Abroad

Image via Pexels

Could Grindr find a worthy competitor in Blued?

Right now, there are two apps sitting at the top of the gay dating app food chain: Grindr and Blued. While Grindr is known primarily in the Western hemisphere as the biggest gay dating app, this is, actually, incorrect. Grindr has around 27 million users extending in 234 countries across the world. Meanwhile, Blued has 49 million registered users. The thing is, most of those users are concentrated in Asia and Blued has put little money into marketing outside that continent.

What has kept the competition between these two juggernaut gay dating apps is the fact that both have stayed to their separate sides of the world. But it looks like, as we suspected last year, Blued is attempting to cross over in the near future.

According to Tech Crunch, BlueCity, the parent company of Blued, has filed for an initial public listing on Nasdaq, or the National Association of Securities Dealers Automated Quotations exchange. The company reportedly aims to raise $50 million from the IPO. Though, the company has not announced its offer price for each American share. When they do, the proceeds from going public will go towards investing in new technologies and increasing its international markets.

Photo by Banter Snaps on Unsplash

This announcement means trouble and blossoming competition for Grindr and all the other gay dating apps on the scene. But while western app users may be too overwhelmed with their several options, very few of those options come with the customer service and well intentions that Blued delivers. Not only does the dating app include several other features like live streams, articles, video games, video calls, and more, but the parent company is made with the intention of bettering LGBTQ people’s lives.

Created by a former closeted policeman named Baoli Ma, who once went by the name Geng Le, BluedCity is celebrated by China’s LGTBQ community for its commitment to LGBTQ people. This includes creating a sub-company called BluedBaby. BluedBaby helps gay couples in China through the surrogacy process. This includes helping users to choose an egg donor, find a surrogate, sign contracts, translate American culture, organize logistics like booking hotel stays, offering rideshare services, and more.

“To me, herein lies the power of the internet — it empowers us to elevate ourselves, and to bring warmth to others across all corners of the world living in loneliness, helplessness and fear because of their sexual orientation,” said Ma in BlueCity’s prospectus to going public.

Conversely, Grindr has maintained the spot of being the most popular Western gay app without providing similar services on its app or outside of it. The company even fired its editorial staff after they broke the story of CEO Scott Chen saying that “holy matrimony is between a man and woman.”  And now, the new owners and leaders behind Grindr’s company are hoping to calm the company and make Grindr “a positive place.”

So, will Grindr feel the heat with Blued edging closer to its borders? Will the gay dating app world turn upside down or will all stay pretty much the same? And, will the U.S. government interfere like it did for Grindr’s former Chinese owners? We’ll see as Baoli Ma’s company trudges closer.

Source: Tech Crunch

What do you think?