China’s most popular gay dating app has temporarily stopped accepting new users after allegations that it put underage people at risk by letting them sign up.
The app is called Blued, and it has more than 40 million users worldwide. With the week-long halt, it will open the app for review and make improvements.
The announcement followed a report Saturday by Chinese financial news publication Caixin in which Blued was accused of failing to protect young teenagers. The report cited a researcher who said the app let boys set up profiles in which they falsely claimed to be 18 or older, exposing them to explicit content and sexual exploitation.
Founded by a former police officer, Blued has expanded rapidly in recent years despite homosexuality remaining a delicate subject in China. The app has moved beyond straightforward matchmaking services into live-streaming and gaming. Last year, it raised $100 million in funds, and its CEO has talked about issuing shares in the company on a US stock exchange.