“At any one time on Grindr, there are 100 to 200 gay men in a one-kilometer [half-mile] radius.“Sexual behaviors are coming way out in urban places, and Grindr is bringing out the best and worst of them.”In 2013, India’s Supreme Court reinstated a 153-year-old law criminalizing sex “against the order of nature,” which includes same-sex relations.While the law does not ban homosexuality – and few gays have been prosecuted under it – activists say thieves and corrupt cops have used it to harass and blackmail sexual minorities.
After news of the sale, Beijing Kunlun’s stock shot up more than 10% in China, highlighting a huge demand among the country’s gay community for new ways to connect.
Homosexuality was a criminal offense in China until 1997 and classified as a psychological disorder until 2001.
Chinese authorities do not recognize same-sex marriages, and many Chinese families, employers and schools still consider homosexuality taboo, forcing many Chinese gays and lesbians to keep their sexuality a secret.
See more of our top stories on Facebook Grindr is far from China’s most popular gay dating app.
That position is held by Blued, a homegrown start-up founded by an ex-policeman, Ma Baoli, in 2012.
Blued has attracted 22 million gay male users, accounting for about 85% of China’s gay dating app market, the company wrote in a 2015 report.Half its users are between 18 and 25 years old.“Blued is more important for Chinese people than Grindr is for Americans,” said Sun Mo, 25, a media operations manager at the Beijing LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) Center.“In America, if you don’t use Grindr, you can go to a gay bar. In China, apart from Beijing, Guangzhou and Shanghai — in smaller cities, and in the countryside — you can’t find any gay organizations or gay bars whatsoever.”Indian cities, too, have only handfuls of gay-friendly bars, and members of the LGBT community say the country’s conservative views on marriage and family keep many of them in the closet.But India’s Grindr community is diverse, ranging from male sex workers to orthodox Hindus, users say.“If you download the app, you will be shocked to notice how many gay men are around you,” said Ashok Row Kavi, founder of the Humsafar Trust, a gay rights organization in Mumbai.Within the quietly thriving gay scene in India’s entertainment and financial capital, one thing appears to be common.“Everybody from the gay community is using Grindr,” Inder Vhatwar, a Mumbai fashion entrepreneur, said of the dating app geared toward gay men.Despite a national law banning same-sex intercourse, tens of thousands of gay Indians use Grindr for social networking, dating and, yes, sex.As in many other Asian countries where homosexuality is outlawed or taboo, Grindr and similar apps have opened up a new digital frontier for gays but also raised concerns about privacy, safety and government clampdowns.