Pop star Dua Lipa, best known for the hit song “New Rules”, cried on stage at her Shanghai concert as a fan with a pride flag was removed by security.

Clips circulated on social media showed fans being pulled from their seats by security, with some users saying it was because they were waving a rainbow pride flag.

As the show stopped and lights in the arena went out, audience members started screaming and shouting at the security guards, Gay Star News reported.

Other users said the fans were removed for standing up and dancing during the show.

The “One Kiss” singer alluded to the incident in a statement posted on social media, referencing the intent of the flags.

“Last night I did it for my fans. A promised show. I stood by them, sang with them and danced with them,” she wrote.

“I will stand by you all for your love and beliefs and I am proud and grateful that you felt safe enough to show your pride at my show.

“What you did takes a lot of bravery. I always want my music to bring strength, hope and unity. I was horrified by what happened and I send love to all my fans involved.

“I would love to come back for my fans when the time is right and hopefully see a room full of rainbows.”

Earlier this year, massive Chinese social media website Weibo moved to ban LGBTI content from the platform, a decision which was only reversed following significant backlash.

While homosexuality is not illegal in China, a socially conservative government and atmosphere poses a significant challenge to LGBTI people and their rights in the country.

Hong Kong was recently set to host the 2019 Mr Gay World competition, but the event had to be relocated due to the local hosting company – which was based in mainland China – running up against Chinese authorities’ unwillingness to assist in the hosting of LGBTI events.

When she toured Australia in March, Dua Lipa delighted fans by waving a rainbow flag at her Melbourne show.

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