• Two women kiss near the registry office where they asked to be married, before being turned away, in Beijing on February 25, 2013. (AAP)Source: AAP
Rela's 6.5 million users have been unable to access the service.
By
Michaela Morgan

31 May 2017 - 11:47 AM  UPDATED 31 May 2017 - 11:47 AM

A popular lesbian dating app has been shut down and is no longer available on either Apple or Android app stores—leaving its 6.5 million registered users outraged.

Rela’s official website and Weibo account have also disappeared, with the company vaguely telling users that the app was undergoing "important adjustment in service", Shanghaiist reports.

"Rela has always been with you and please await its return!" the company said on WeChat.

Users of Rela took to social media upon discovering they could not log into their accounts.

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One person said: "This is discrimination against us lesbians." Another wrote: "Not being able to open it feels like being jilted."

While the state internet regulator—the Cyberspace Administration of China—has not commented, there is speculation that the shutdown is connected to a recent event at the Shanghai marriage market.

A group of LGBT+ parents attended the famous market last week to find partners for their children and were supported by the Rela app.

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“We have every right to be here — I’m here to find a boyfriend for my son.”

The group were questioned by parents of heterosexual children and eventually escorted out of the park by security.

Rela—formerly called 'The L' was created in 2012 and offered China’s lesbian community more than a way to meet up with each other. Tech in Asia described the service as “portal for movies, literature, and other resources, ranging from event information for lectures on LGBTQ topics to contact details for overseas marriage services.”