How do I flatter the Chinese
The world's most popular gay dating app will change hands again in the coming year
The Chinese company Beijing Kunlun Tech Co. has to sell the gay dating app Grindr by mid-2020 under pressure from the American government committee for the control of foreign investments (CFIUS). Beijing Kunlun Tech announced on Monday that they had reached an agreement with US authorities that the company would not be allowed to view or transfer user data to China. The company headquarters will remain in the USA, and at least two of the three members of the board of directors will also have American citizenship. In addition, the company promised the US government to sell the dating app by June 30, 2020 at the latest.
Beijing Kunlun Tech bought 60 percent of the Grindr shares for $ 93 million in early 2016 (queer.de reported). Last year the Chinese bought the rest of the shares. The investors actually planned to put the app on the stock exchange. At the end of March, however, there were reports for the first time that CFIUS classified Grindr as a "national security risk" (queer.de reported). Beijing Kunlun Tech Co. first admitted on Monday that it had hired an investment bank to organize the sale.
A subsequent US objection to the takeover of a national company by a company from another country is rare - but recently the Trump administration tightened the thumbscrews against China: This prevented the takeover of a financial company and a marketing platform by Chinese companies. The US is currently in a trade war with the People's Republic.
USA wants to prevent China from accessing sensitive data
There is currently no official information on the reasons for the American approach. According to media reports, the American government apparently fears that by taking over the dating app, the Chinese could gain access to sensitive data that could potentially endanger the internal security of the USA.
Grindr has been criticized for data breaches over the years. Last year there were reports that the company had passed on user information on the HIV status to external companies (queer.de reported). US senators also expressed concerns about data security in a company controlled by Chinese investors. (dk)
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