The hot potato game of “who owns Grindr” is up in the air again.
Chinese gaming company Kunlun Tech has agreed to sell gay hookup app Grindr for $608.5 million, according to Reuters. The company announced on Friday that it will sell the app after acquiring it in 2016. The reason for this sudden change is the U.S. government.
Last year, the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) ruled that it was investigating Kunlun Tech’s ownership of California-based app company Grindr. Later that year, the committee ruled that the gaming company’s ownership of Grindr did not count as a national security risk. Kunlun Tech then shared its’ desire to list Grindr on the foreign stock exchange.
But now, it seems the situation has flipped as the CFIUS has set a June 2020 deadline to sell the app. Unfortunately, the CFIUS has not disclosed why it made this decision.
Because of this deadline, Kunlun has agreed to sell its 98.59 stakes, which it bought back in 2017, to San Vicente Acquisition LLC. This is after being in intense talks with other investors interesting in buying Grindr. One of those investors was James Lu, a former executive at Chineses search engine giant Baidu. But perhaps his inclusion in a deal would have raised similar concerns to that of Kunlun Tech. Part of those concerns surrounding Kunlun’s ownership is the fact that Beijing-based engineers had access to personal information of American citizens. This included private messages, NSFW photos, HIV statuses, and more.
While it looks like we are in the final phases of the Grindr ownership deal, it hasn’t completed just yet. We’ll keep you updated as the next phase of this rollercoaster ride comes around.