Report: Chinese Company Forced to Put Grindr Up for Sale

Wednesday March 27, 2019

The Chinese gaming company that recently bought the gay dating app Grindr is being forced to put it up for sale over security concerns, according to a report from Reuters.

The Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) is pressuring Kunlun Tech to put Grindr up for sale because it is concerned over the company's access to personal data. Reuters writes CFIUS informed Kunlun that its ownership of Grindr, which is based in West Hollywood, Calif., "constitutes a national security risk, the two sources said.

"CFIUS' specific concerns and whether any attempt was made to mitigate them could not be learned," the report goes on to say. "The United States has been increasingly scrutinizing app developers over the safety of personal data they handle, especially if some of it involves U.S. military or intelligence personnel."

After investing in part of the gay dating app, Kunlun, which also owns the Internet browser Opera, bought Grindr in full in 2018.

Reuters reports Kunlun did not go through the voluntary process of submitting its acquisition of Grindr to the CFIUS for review, adding that it nevertheless is rare for the committee to undo an accusation after it's been completed.

The Verge points out Grindr's privacy policy collects personal data from its users, including location information, messages, as well as HIV status should users provide such details. Last year, the company came under fire when it was reported Grindr was sharing users' HIV info with other companies. An exec apologized at the time and said it will no longer participate in the act.

In August it was reported Grindr was headed for an IPO but because of the CFIUS's latest movie, Kunlun will now be working on the auction process to sell Grindr in full, Reuter reports, adding that sources said the "IPO would have kept Grindr under Kunlun's control for a longer period of time."

Click here to read Reuters' report in full.

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