Hook-up app Grindr has launched an initiative to bring gay rights to China.

The app – which has seen a boom in use globally – announced a new partnership with the Beijing Gender Health and Education Institute, as part of its ‘Grindr for Equality’ campaign, to raise awareness about equality in China.

Homosexuality is still taboo in mainland China – and though it was decriminalised in 1997, there is no recognition of same-sex relationships, and little specific support.

The company also appointed veteran National Gay and Lesbian Task Force activist Jack Harrison-Quintana to head up ‘Grindr for Equality’.

Grindr CEO Joel Simkhai said “Under the leadership of Jack Harrison-Quintana, our new director of Grindr for Equality, we are building new partnerships with groups like the Beijing Gender Health and Education Institute (BGHEI), an organization working to raise awareness about sexual diversity and equality in Mainland Chinese society.

“In partnership with BGHEI we will make sure Grindr users in China have access to thorough and relevant sexual health information in colloquial Chinese.”

Despite a strong global userbase, Grindr is not the most popular gay hook-up app in China – falling behind Chinese-made app Blued.

Blued boasts 15 million active users based mostly in Beijing, Shanghai, and Guangzhou, while Grindr holds 5 million active users.

Mr Simkhai continued: “At Grindr, we are constantly considering how to positively impact the countless lesbian, gay bi, trans and queer people who struggle against so many outside forces to form the romantic partnerships we want – whether it’s family and societal rejection; racial injustice; economic marginalization; or religious bigotry.

“We want to help LGBTQ communities both recognize and move beyond the trauma that we carry with us no matter what country we live in and we’re calling on our users to show the same solidarity with our people around the world.”

The app’s CEO previously said he was “very proud” the app is used in places where homosexuality is taboo or illegal.