SAN DIEGO LGBT WEEKLY
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Billing itself as the first of its kind in China, Blued, a popular gay dating app, is anything but with news that a group of American venture capitalists will be investing 30 million dollars in the start-up. The app combines the immediacy and locality-based functionality of similar applications like Grindr and Scruff, but also enables group settings so people can organize activities such as hiking or getting a basketball team together, and provides information on where to get tested for HIV.
Blued was launched in December, 2012, and currently boasts 15 million users according to its founder, an elusive ex-police officer turned LGBT activist and entrepreneur by the name of Ma Baoli. And according to TVNZ.co.nz, the app also serves an important role in HIV/AIDS awareness. “There is an increasing epidemic among men who have sex with men, gay or otherwise, and so it is important to support innovation in how people reach their people” said Catherine Sozi, the country director for the UN agency working on AIDS issues during an AIDS awareness event organized by Blued in Beijing last week. (The World Health Organization’s best estimate to the number of HIV-infected Chinese is around 800,000.)
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