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30 May 2017

Rela, popular gay dating app in China, blocked

Gay women in China lose dating app

The gay rights movement in Asia is a pretty mixed bucket right now. Just after Taiwan became the first Asian country to legalize same-sex marriage, Rela, a popular dating portal for gay women, has been blocked in China.

The app that launched in 2012 has 50 lakh registered users.

Last week, #rela and #relahasbeenblocked began to trend on Weibo, the Chinese version of Facebook.

In context

Gay women in China lose dating app
No reason mentioned by Rela or administration


No reason mentioned by Rela or administration

There isn't any official confirmation as to why Rela's services were suspended. In a statement, the portal said its functions were temporarily suspended due to "important adjustment in service", requesting people to "please await its return".

The Cyberspace Administration of China hasn't responded to queries either.

Last month, Zank, another dating app, was shut down in China for broadcasting "pornographic" content.

Rela was earlier in the spotlight for organizing LGBT event

This move comes after Rela organized a protest by LGBT mothers on May 20. It sent a group of moms to Shanghai's 'marriage market', where parents look for suitable spouses for their children. Security kicked out the women for not registering their "advertising event".

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Users left dejected after app suspended

Rela was a platform for Chinese women to stay connected to the LGBT community.

In 2015, Tech in Asia called it a "portal for movies, literature, and other resources, ranging from event information for lectures on LGBTQ topics to contact details for overseas marriage services."

"Not being able to open it feels like being jilted," wrote a Weibo user.

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