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Zhang has not published his research but shared his findings with Caixin. Hu Wei not his real name , the leader of a major LGBT community welfare organization who asked not to be identified by his real name, said that in the past two years almost all the new cases of HIV infection found by his organization involved people who had met sexual partners through Blued, including one year-old boy.
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Hu also told Caixin he had encountered in his work children as young as 12 who said they were using Blued. But Zhang said men who contracted HIV through sex with other men were in an especially vulnerable position in China, since official organizations in many parts of the country refuse to discuss homosexuality and avoid doing necessary community healthcare and outreach work. People receive free medical examinations aimed at gay men in Beijing in Blued executives contacted by Caixin did not deny that there were minors using the app, but Ma said the intention had never been to target minors.
Amid a mass crackdown on Chinese livestreaming services in the past two years, Blue changed its policies to require real-name authentication from all streamers. Jiang said that, while broadcasting a live video recently, he was in contact with a person who claimed to be 18 years old, but who was later revealed to be only Hu Wei told Caixin that he felt there was increasingly more content on Blued showing drug use, pornography, and casual sex.
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Ma told Caixin that if the government requests Blued to demand real-name authentication for all users in the future, the company would adjust its policy to do so. But, Ma said, the company had no plan to implement this requirement on its own. Ma also said the company would not move in the direction of foreign apps like Grindr, which in began allowing users to identify their own HIV status and whether they were on pre-exposure prophylaxis also known as PrEP.
In April, video app Kuaishou came under fire from Chinese authorities for allowing girls allegedly as young as 13 to post videos about teenage pregnancy and for using its algorithm to promote these videos to viewers. Kuaishou responded by shutting down the accounts of users posting about teenage pregnancy, and issued multiple public apologies. As a rare space in China for gay men to socialize and express themselves, Blued faces more expectations than the average startup.
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Blued was founded by former policeman Ma Baoli, also known as Geng Le. VCG What went wrong?
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