BlueCity founder, chairman, and chief executive, Baoli Ma, spoke at Collision 2021, a fast-growing North American tech conference which last week virtually brought together startups, innovators, philanthropists, and investors from all over the world. Among 450+ speakers were Twitter co-founder Biz Stone, CEO of Wikipedia Katherine Maher, and David Beckham as goodwill ambassador at UNICEF.
Along with Ma, seven speakers attended the conference from China. These included Wenyuan Dai, founder and CEO at an AI tech firm 4Paradigm, Nisa Leung, managing partner at Qiming Venture Partners, and Bill Liu, the founder and CEO at Royole Corp., which makes flexible displays and sensors for human-machine interface products.
The company led by Ma, BlueCity Holdings Ltd. (Nasdaq: BLCT), is more than just Asia’s top LGBTQ+ networking and dating app. BlueCity, which completed its New York IPO in July 2020, offers health-related services and community support to millions of its users. Last month, the company posted strong growth for the year 2020, which it called “breakthrough” despite the challenges of the Covid-19 outbreak.
At Collision 2021, Ma sat down with Martina Fuchs from Xinhua News to tell his story from closeted policeman to the successful launch of the Blued LGBTQ mobile app in 2012. In 2015, the app went international and is seeing growing international presence. The theme of the Collision interview was "Building an app with a rainbow heart."
Ma also talked about BlueCity's role in encouraging greater LGBTQ acceptance in China, its historical listing on the Nasdaq in 2020, and the brand's plans for future global expansion amid a competitive global market.
In March, BlueCity and UNAIDS, the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS, launched a campaign against discrimination and toward raising awareness in issues including living with HIV, appearance anxiety, gender discrimination in the workplace, and family acceptance of sexual minorities. Together with UNAIDS, the operator of Blued hosted public exhibitions and streamed interviews with experts speaking in support of “a healthy life attitude in a diverse and inclusive society.”
Last week, BlueCity announced the release of a video for the campaign it titled "Would You Discriminate against Me?" for streaming on major Chinese social media platforms. BlueCity noted that within 48 hours of going live, views of the video exceeded 1 million and related stories have reached over 5 million views on social media.
"We're immensely proud of this co-production, which highlights the impact of discrimination on the lives of people across society," Ma said in a statement. "Again, it reminds us of the power of education and inclusion in ending inequalities and creating more accepting and diverse societies to the benefit of all."
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