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Despite a lack of formal legal recognition, Chinese society is relatively accepting of LGBT individuals, especially in comparison to other developing nations. Their inclusion is based on functionality, funding, and popularity with users. Released last year, this lesbian dating app allows women to network based on their location, similar to US app Grindr, which targets gay men. It attracted several million yuan in seed funding from well-known angel investor Charles Xue and has users in the mainland, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Thailand and the US.

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One of China's most successful LGBT apps, this gay dating service has attracted more than 15 million users worldwide since its founding in It provides users with an easy way to browse each others' profiles, photos, blogs and send each other text or voice messages. Founded in , this lesbian social network app focuses on online-to-offline functionality, helping to organise community-building and networking activities.


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The company's co-founders include veterans of leading web companies such as Google, Sina, Tencent and Alibaba, and it raised funding from Silicon Valley venture capital firms. Founded in , this gay social networking app has more than 10 million users in mainland China alone. It helps users organise social activities including karaoke, sports games, and networking events. Zank raised 20 million yuan in Series A funding in July It offers a space for people like me. The social networking giant later reversed the ban after a public outcry online.

While the Weibo incident highlighted intolerance towards the gay community in China, Ma — who has seen much worse in his youth — sees the bright side of the incident: Growing up in a traditional family in the coastal city Beidaihe, about three hours drive from Beijing, Ma realised he was different when he was a year-old cadet at a local police academy. After graduation in around , he lived a double life. By day, he was a married police officer with a promising civil service career that made his parents proud.

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By night, he ran an online forum called Danlan. Ma posted under the pen name of Geng Le, which is still the name he is more widely known as even today, even using it on his Blued business cards. He felt depressed about living such a secretive life for many years until his police colleagues accidentally found out about the website in There was no turning back, so Ma decided to move to Beijing to fully focus on his business venture.

From the very beginning of his new life as CEO of a start-up, Ma understood the importance of working with all kinds of government organisations to help their efforts on educating the gay community about sexually transmitted diseases and reducing the risk of HIV. In one meeting room named after the gay-themed movie Brokeback Mountain , his employees meet business partners to discuss how to better improve health-related education and services for gay people.

Ma hopes to better serve the gay community in other ways by expanding his business into new fields, such as e-commerce, insurance and finance. The company, which is eyeing an IPO in the US within three years, is also working on expanding to markets outside China, mainly in Southeast Asia, since turning a profit in its home market last year. This has also become visible offline.

Last month, a gay wedding proposal in the streets of Shanghai drew the attention of bystanders. The pictures became trending on Sina Weibo. Although some Weibo netizens mocked the couple, others found it romantic or did not care about it too much. The campaign received lots of attention on social media, where users can vote which couples they would like to win.

Interview with Geng Le by Vice magazine link. You can do so here! Do not reproduce our content without permission — you can contact us at info whatsonweibo. Manya Koetse is the editor-in-chief of www. She is a writer and consultant Sinologist, MPhil on social trends in China, with a focus on social media and digital developments, popular culture, and gender issues. Contact at manya whatsonweibo. Top 25 Best Fiction Books on China: Your email address will not be published.

First published December 16 One such example is the World Cup. Over the past years, Didi has seen dozens of cases where female passengers were assaulted by their drivers. The terrible murders of two young women in sparked national outrage. In May of this year, the murder of a year-old flight attendant by her Didi driver became a major topic of discussion on Weibo. The young woman, Li Mingzhu, was killed in the early morning when she was on her way home from Zhengzhou airport. The body of the driver who killed Li was later found in a nearby river.

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In August, the year-old passenger Xiao Zhao was raped and stabbed to death by her Didi driver on her way to a birthday party on a Friday afternoon. Hours later, the driver was arrested. What contributed to the major impact this topic had on social media was the fact that several people came forward on WeChat and Weibo to tell how Didi was warned beforehand: Another female claimed she had already reported the driver to Didi for indecent behavior earlier that week.

In a rapidly changing society where companies such as Didi play an increasingly important role in how people travel and navigate their lives, the Didi murders not only showed the enormous responsibility these companies have in creating a safe environment for passengers, but also showed that the public expects these companies to provide these secure conditions. After the August murder, Didi suspended its Hitch service, which pairs drivers and passengers traveling the same route the young women were killed while using Hitch , and added several new safety features to make Didi safer for passengers and to quickly assist customers with any problems they might have.

In China, it became one of the biggest social media hypes of this year. The mobile game, designed by a Japanese company, took Chinese social media by storm this year, with thousands of people sharing their struggles in taking care of their virtual frog, which often goes traveling.

The game is characterized by its rather uneventful nature. There are various theories explaining the success of the game. Many of his works , of which over million copies were sold worldwide, have been turned into tv series and films. News of her death also received millions of views on Chinese social media. The twin girls were born earlier this year.

Chinese authorities launched an investigation into the research shortly after news came out, and He Jiankui has not been heard of since. Many people on Weibo are now wondering about his whereabouts, what will happen to him, and how this will further impact the lives of the two girls whose genes were edited.

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The annual Golden Horse Film Awards in Taipei turned out to be a painful confrontation between mainland actors and Taiwanese pro-independence supporters this year. Although Ang Lee, chairman of the Golden Horse committee, had probably hoped to keep politics out of the film festival, the atmosphere of the live-streamed event changed when award-winning director Fu Yue expressed her hopes for an independent Taiwan during her acceptance speech.

Things got more polarized and political when famous Chinese actress Gong Li, at the end of the show, refused to get on stage with Ang Lee to present the award for Best Feature Film. The evening officially seemed ruined when, at the end of the night, it turned out that most mainland actors and producers declined taking part in the celebratory award dinner and went straight back to the mainland instead.

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This was not the only topic this year that showed that the current and future status of Taiwan is still an incredibly sensitive topic that can set off waves of angry nationalism on social media. In late October of this year, an incident in which a public bus plunged off a bridge into the Yangtze river, causing all 15 passengers to die, became a huge topic on Chinese social media. The security camera footage from inside the bus later showed how a passenger who apparently had missed her stop gets angry with the driver and starts hitting him with her mobile phone.

The driver then abruptly turns the steering wheel, hitting oncoming traffic, crashes through the safety fence, and plunges into the river. The incident caused major concerns over aggression in Chinese public transport, with other videos of similar incidents also making their rounds on social media.

A bizarre road-rage incident in which a muscular and tattooed BMW driver attacked an innocent cyclist with a big knife, but then ended up dead himself, was the biggest story on Chinese social media this summer, triggering countless of memes.

The entire scene was caught on security cameras. In the night of August 27, a BMW switched from the car lane to the bicycle lane in the city of Kunshan Jiangsu , colliding with a man driving his bike, who seemingly refused to give way.


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Two men then step out of their BMW vehicle to confront the cyclist, with one man going back to his vehicle, suddenly pulling out a long knife and going after the cyclist, stabbing him. During the fight, however, the BMW driver suddenly lets the knife slip out of his hands, after which the bike owner quickly picks it up. With the knife in his hands, he now starts attacking the BMW driver, who eventually dies of his injuries. One of the main reasons for the mass focus on this incident was that there was an ethical question involved, namely: For many, the news was proof that justice had prevailed.

The video, that shows a Chinese model failing to eat Italian food with her chopsticks, was deemed sexist and insulting by many.

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It is yet unclear to what extent the marketing disaster has affected the brand, but one thing this incident shows is that cultural insensitivities in marketing campaigns can soon lead to a public relations mess. The incident became a major source of inspiration for the Weibo meme machine, where others imitated the dramatic Ma Rong photo and photo-shopped it into gossip magazines. Both of their bad behaviors on high-speed trains were caught on video.

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