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China's burgeoning LGBT-rights movement has been given a boost thanks to a proliferation of social networking apps targeting homosexuals backed by big tech firms.There are an estimated 70 million gays and lesbians in China, and a growing push to legalise same-sex marriage.Despite a lack of formal legal recognition, Chinese society is relatively accepting of LGBT individuals, especially in comparison to other developing nations.SCMP staff reporters have examined this growing market and selected some of the most popular LGBT apps.Their inclusion is based on functionality, funding, and popularity with users.Released last year, this lesbian dating app allows women to network based on their location, similar to US app Grindr, which targets gay men.



Blued raised more than US$30 million in funding in October 2014, shortly after Apple chief executive Tim Cook himself came out as gay.Founded in 2013, this lesbian social network app focuses on online-to-offline functionality, helping to organise community-building and networking activities.The company's co-founders include veterans of leading web companies such as Google, Sina, Tencent and Alibaba, and it raised funding from Silicon Valley venture capital firms.Founded in 2013, this gay social networking app has more than 10 million users in mainland China alone.

It helps users organise social activities including karaoke, sports games, and networking events.

Zank raised 20 million yuan in Series A funding in July 2014.