Chinese LGBTQ Dating App BlueCity Shares Jump in U.S. Debut


The owner of Blued, China’s biggest LGBTQ dating app, climbed 46% in its trading debut after raising $85 million in a U.S. initial public offering.

BlueCity Holdings Ltd.’s shares, which rose as much as 124% earlier Wednesday, closed at $23.43 in New York trading. The Beijing-based company had sold 5.3 million shares at $16 each.

Chinese listings are facing increasing scrutiny in the U.S. as tensions between the two countries fester over trade, their responses to the coronavirus pandemic and Beijing’s efforts to tighten its grip on Hong Kong. Chinese companies like Sina Corp. and Inc. received take-private proposals in the past month. Others including Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. have completed second listings in Hong Kong.

Ma Baoli, BlueCity’s chief executive officer, said his company is listing in the U.S. to showcase that China has such a company serving the LGBTQ community. “I am very confident that China will create a better environment for the LGBTQ community,” he said in a phone interview on Wednesday.

BlueCity was founded in 2011 by the former policeman, also known as Geng Le.

The company reported a net loss attributable to ordinary shareholders of 28 million yuan ($3.9 million) on revenue of 207 million yuan for the three months ended March 31, according to its filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. That loss had decreased from 196 million yuan for the same period last year

The share sale was underwritten by AMTD International Inc., Loop Capital Markets, Tiger Brokers, Prime Number Capital and R.F. Lafferty & Co. The shares are trading on the Nasdaq Global Market under the symbol BLCT.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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