Exclusive: U.S. pushes Chinese owner of Grindr to divest

Credit: Reuters Studio
Published on March 27, 2019 - Duration: 01:52s

Exclusive: U.S. pushes Chinese owner of Grindr to divest

Chinese gaming company Beijing Kunlun Tech Co Ltd is seeking to sell Grindr LLC, the popular gay dating app it has owned since 2016, after a U.S. government national security panel raised concerns about its ownership, according to people familiar with the matter.

Havovi Cooper reports.

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Exclusive: U.S. pushes Chinese owner of Grindr to divest

The Chinese owners of Grindr are seeking to sell the popular gay dating app after a U.S. government national security panel raised concerns about its ownership Sources exclusively told Reuters that the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States or the CFIUS has informed Beijing Kunlun Tech that its ownership of California-based Grindr - constitutes a national security risk.

While the CFIUS did not reveal specific concerns...the panel.

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... Grindr, with 27 million users- describes itself as the world's largest social networking app for the LGBTQ community-- it collects user information, including a person's location, messages, and in some cases even their HIV status Kunlun acquired a majority stake in Grindr in 2016 for $93 million.

It bought out the remainder of the company in 2018.

Last August- Kunlun said it was preparing for an initial public offering of Grindr. But sources say-- as a result of intervention by CFIUS, it has now shifted its focus to an auction process to sell Grindr outright.... In the last two years the CFIUS has been busy scrutinizing foreign takeovers-- it blocked recent takeovers of U.S. money transfer company MoneyGram and mobile marketing firm AppLovin by Chinese bidders.

Kunlun representatives did not respond to requests for comment A spokesman for the U.S. Department of the Treasury, which chairs CFIUS, said the panel does not comment publicly on individual cases.

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