BUSINESS INSIDER - Oct 27 - BlueCity is the owner of Blued, the first LBGTQ+-focused social network to go public. It was at a market value of ~$600M. CEO Ma Baoli began his career as a policeman in China before creating his own social network in 2000.
Q: Your first job was as a policeman. How did you make the transition into the tech industry?
A: When the Internet boom hit China in 1998, I started to search for answers. Through the Internet I discovered that homosexuality was not an illness or a disorder. The predecessor of Blued is the website Danlan.com, which I founded in 2000, and was one of China's first and most influential LGBTQ online forums. In 2012, when I saw the big shift from the PC internet to mobile Internet, we launched the Blued app.
Q: How do you plan to expand Blued in the future?
A: We hope to refine and expand our current health services, and feel confident that they will eventually reach users around the world. We also plan to serve different subgroups within the broader LGBTQ+ community, as seen in our recent acquisition of LESDO, a leading Lesbian social-networking app.
Q: What has been the impact of growing restrictions on Chinese companies in the US and other countries?
A: Our staff are working closely with external consultancies and stakeholders to make sure that we are fully compliant with local laws and regulations in markets where we operate.
Q: What impact do you think Blued has had for the LGBT community in China and beyond?
A: We are more than just a social network, dating app or a live streaming platform. Blued is a safe zone for people in the LGBTQ+ community to obtain public health information especially about HIV testing, prevention and education.