Shanghai-based travel agency Spring Tour released its latest promotional material with the slogan ‘Take your gay best friend to visit Hong Kong’. This comes as China is set to host its first ‘pink market’ conference, which is being organized by the Shanghai LGBT Professionals, a professional body.
Data on the ‘pink market’ within China is sparse but a recent survey by Shanghai LGBT Professionals revealed 7% of respondents (2,500) identified as part of the LGBT+ community – although only 3% of LGBT men and 5% of LGBT women were ‘completely out’. This would equate to a vast Chinese LGBT market of 94 million people.
Other Chinese brands which are awakening to the existence of this market include Chinese search-engine Baidu which recently issued a series of images including a young lesbian couple. Their slogan reads: ‘Everybody has the right to choose their happiness.’
‘Attitudes are changing quickly in any event,’ said Steven Paul Bielinski, who founded Shanghai LGBT Professionals.
In 1997, China decriminalized homosexuality. The country stopped classifying homosexuality as a mental illness in 2001.