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"Weibo finally withdrew its wrong decision".

The tag "I am gay" was viewed almost 300 million times on Weibo before being censored on Saturday.

One of China's biggest social media companies on Monday reversed a decision to censor gay content - a rare victory for the country's nascent but increasingly vocal LGBT rights movement.

On Monday afternoon, Sina Weibo issued the second announcement, declaring "This time, the cleanup of anime and games won't target gay content", according to a translation by What's on Weibo.

One user wrote: "There can be no homosexuality under socialism?" Late last month, Luca Guadagnino's Oscar-winning romance, Call Me By Your Name, was pulled from the lineup of the Beijing Film Festival with no official reason given for the move.

The move sparked online outcry where Weibo users protest with the hashtag "I am gay", which was used 170,000 times before Weibo ultimately banned it.

On Saturday, "The Gay Voice", a popular Weibo page devoted to gay rights issues and gay art, announced to its 230,000-plus followers that it would suspend posting due to an "event of force majeure". However, many in the LGBT community still face pressure from parents, discrimination at work, and limited exposure in media and the arts.

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Although China officially decriminalized homosexuality in 1997 and the Chinese Psychiatric Society removed "homosexuality" from its Chinese Classification of Mental Disorders in 2001, the country remains intolerant toward same-sex relationships.

According to The Global Times, the main targets included "pornographic, violent or gay-themed cartoons", as well as content such as "slash, gay, boys love, and gay fictional stories". "Thank you for your discussion and suggestions". After Weibo canceled the crackdown, The Gay Voice said it would resume publication.

Chinese gay app Blued claims to be the largest gay social network app in the world, with more than 27 million users predominantly in China.

In the southwestern province of Sichuan, a radio host posted a viral video of LGBT rights activists offering free hugs on a busy street while wearing rainbow-printed eye masks. "It's unbelievable to see this happen now, with everyone - straight or gay, celebrities or ordinary people - using the hashtag and joining in".

A man holds an iPhone as he visits Sina's Weibo microblogging site in Shanghai May 29, 2012.

Last week the Chinese government has ordered the closure of Neihan Duanzi, a parody platform in which user generated content was shared.

People's Daily, the official newspaper of the ruling Communist Party, on Sunday encouraged tolerance towards gay people, but added that "vulgar" content must be removed regardless of sexual orientation.


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