News & Opinion | March 6, 2020 3:17 pm

Gay Dating App Grindr Sold by Chinese Owner for $608 million

A US panel ordered the sale back in May

Grindr is one of the most popular gay dating apps.
Leon Neal/Getty Images

The Chinese tech company behind popular gay dating app Grindr is set to sell its 98.5 percent stake in the app to a company called San Vicente Acquisition LLC, Reuters reported.

The $608.5 million sale follows an order from a United States government panel requiring Beijing Kunlun Tech to sell the dating app by June 30 in response to concerns over how the Beijing-based web gaming company was handling user data for Grindr.

One of China’s largest mobile gaming companies, Kunlun, reportedly acquired a majority stake in Grindr back in 2016 for $93 million and bought out the remainder of the company in 2018. However, according to Reuters, Kunlun completed the latter transaction without first submitting the transactions for CFIUS review. Kunlun reportedly reached a deal with the committee last May in which it was determined the company would be required to get rid of Grindr.

The committee has not released any specific details regarding its concerns over Kunlun’s ownership of Grindr. According to Reuters, however, the company gave some of its engineers access to a cache of highly sensitive information from Grindr about millions of American users — including private messages and HIV status.

The same foreign investment committee has also launched a review of a deal that helped lead to the rise of popular video-sharing app TikTok. Chinese tech firm ByteDance acquired the lip-syncing app back in 2017 and merged it with TikTok, marking the beginning of the platform’s current popularity.

Subscribe here for our free daily newsletter.