Social media footage from the show reveals venue security members removing certain fans from their seats; these same concertgoers were reportedly waving pro-gay rights flags before their ejection, The Fader points out.
The English-Albanian singer appeared upset on stage.
"Many fans at the front rows were holding the rainbow flags high, and I heard they were ordered to take down the flags, especially the fans in the first three rows..."
It's not clear why fans were not allowed to stand up and dance at the concert. I would love in these last few songs for us to really, really, really enjoy ourselves.
Security guards stormed into the arena holding laser pointers and flash torches shortly after the concert began and when thousands of excited young fans were singing along with Dua Lipa, according to one fan who was at the scene. I would love to come back for my fans when the time is right and hopefully see a room full of rainbows.
Update, 8 a.m. EST: Lipa has now addressed the Shanghai uproar in an Instagram post, which notes that she was "horrified" by the situation. "I just want us all to have a really good time". I want us all to sing.
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A woman at the concert told the BBC that the security staff and police were being "heavy-handed" and "aggressive".
"I was horrified by what happened and I send love to all my fans involved", she added.
Homosexuality is not illegal in China and was decriminalized almost 20 years ago, BBC reports, though attitudes toward the LGBTQ community and its portrayal in the media have been less than progressive, with government bans on various forms of LGBTQ content for being "pornographic and vulgar".
The concert was the singer's second and final date in China on this tour.
"I want to create a really safe environment for us all to have fun", the teary pop star said.