Hardly anyone in China has an openly gay friend or relative compared to what you find in Western countries. But business geared toward the Chinese LGBT population has garnered tens of millions of customers. China's roughly three-year-old pink economy leads Asia in value as it leads the Chinese population to become gradually more open. It’s already about one-third the size of the more mature American pink economy with a much larger population base that hasn’t been tapped yet.
China’s Communist government doesn’t encourage LGBT causes or much other social activism. Yet China lacks strong organized religion, so the LGBT community is tacitly accepted as long it don’t stand in the way of authority or topple the hopes of any conservative elders worried about having grandchildren to carry on the family line.
Money sees LGBT consumers as a welcome novelty, explaining why China is the world's third largest LGBT market after Europe and the United States and worth $300 billion per year, per official China Daily news website figures. Pink spending power the U.S. came to $917 billion in 2015, according to this analysis, as millennials openly embrace their LGBT community.
Newly well-off Chinese experiment with their money in a lot of ways, from stocks to sporting equipment. Now business is leading gays and lesbians to express themselves in China even if they can’t tell their parents. Only 5% of LGBT people in China are “willing to live their diversity openly,” the U.N. Development Program said last year.
“Business of course is very happy to take action on this issue because it is good for their brands,” says Steven Bielinski, founder of WorkForLGBT, a business network for employees in Shanghai. “They say, ‘Hey, what does that mean to my company and how can they help with my business?’” Read more via Forbes