NEW YORK TIMES - Mar 5 - Blued, one of the biggest gay dating apps in the world, has succeeded because it plays by the ever-shifting rules for L.G.B.T.Q. China - bringing together a minority community without activism. China is home to an LGBTQ population larger than all of France, ~70M people. But according to a United Nations estimate, less than 5% of gay Chinese choose to come out. Blued has a reported in-country user base of some 24M. Homosexuality was formally considered a mental illness in China until 2001. But in recent years, the government has neither expressed explicit support for the LGBTQ community nor sought to crush it. Whereas Russia has adopted a position "that LGBT rights is a Western conspiracy designed to weaken the nation," says Darius Longarino, a fellow at Yale Law School's Paul Tsai China Center. China's one-child policy further increased pressure on some gay Chinese to stay in the closet and enter heterosexual relationships, because parents pinned all their hopes on one child to provide genetic, legally recognized grandchildren to continue the family line. Blued app launched in 2012. The company, once kept alive by 50-to-500-yuan donations, received its first angel investment of $480K in 2013. It then raised a Series A round investment of $1.6M led by the VC firm Crystal Stream and in 2014 raised an additional $30M from another VC firm, DCM. In the last few years, having monopolized the gay-dating app market in China, Blued has expanded to Mexico, Brazil and India.