Dating Block: Grindr’s Chinese Owner Forced to Sell
By CultureBanx Team
Kunlun bought a majority stake in Grindr for $93M in 2016
Grindr has 27 million users worldwide
California-based company Grindr, the popular gay dating app with 27 million users worldwide has ruffled national security feathers. A U.S. government committee has pressured the platforms Chinese owner, Kunlun Tech to sell the app over national security concerns. Is the notion that a dating app could threaten national security misplaced?
Herein lies the problem, the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States stated Grindr has violated data protection laws. They claim the platform is sharing information on sexual preferences and HIV-status to third parties without proper consent and is forcing Kunlun to sell Grindr.
CFIUS, the group that evaluates national security concerns of foreign investment in the U.S., intervening on the Grindr deal highlights its focus on the safety of personal data. Initially Kunlun bought a majority stake in the app for just $93 million in 2016, then the Chinese internet gaming company purchased Grindr outright in 2018.
Situational Awareness: In general the government is continuing to give a side-eye to Chinese investment in U.S. tech companies. Back in 2016, China invested $18.7 billion U.S. tech firms, that number dropped drastically in 2018 to $2.2 billion, perhaps due to heightened CFIUS scrutiny.
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