A Chinese gaming company has just announced that it’s planning to buy all of the stakes in Grindr.
Back in January 2016, Beijing Kunlun Tech bought 61.5% of Grindr’s stakes for $93 million, which bumped up the business’s value to $155 million.
Then, in an announcement today, they said that they would be buying the the rest of the the stakes for $152 million.
Beijing Kunlun Tech is run by billionaire Zhou Yahui, and is one of China’s largest game developers. The purchase is a strategic strategy to allow the company to advertise and market itself to the more than 3 million daily users who are on the app from all over the globe.
This internet and phone success started back in 2009 by Joel Simkhai. The app met a successful boom due to the increased smartphone use and is now one of the most popular dating apps for gay and bisexual men. (The most popular being Blued, an app originating in China that has yet to really hit the Western market).
On top of being the one of them most used dating apps, it is also trying switch gears in the past year or two. The app has started to warn users to be safe when hooking up, and its trying to add a lifestyle branch as well.
To go with this, a poet in residence has been hired and Zach Stafford, a former Guardian US and Out writer, has been named as the editor-in-chief of the online magazine. “We’ll work very closely with Grindr as an app to source stories and meet people around the world,” Zach Stafford told Ad Age.
The question is, how will this affect Grindr?
Now that the company is fully owned by a Chinese company, will Chinese regulations and laws change the product?
When Beijing Kunlun first invested, Joel Simkhai said that it would be “business as usual.” But, the Chinese government seems very fickle when it comes to its treatment of LGBT citizens.
One second it’ll have a “live and let live” attitude towards LGBT people on the internet, and the next it’ll ban gay web series and shut down gay-centric websites.
Only time will see how this corporate takeover will affect the app and product overall, but hopefully the change will be for the better.