In January 2016, Grindr sold 60% of its company for $93 million to Chinese gaming company Kunlun Group. Now, the company has acquired the remaining 40% of the successful gay dating app for $152 million–bringing the total buyout for the app to a whopping $254 million.
Grindr CEO and founder, Joel Simkhai, will step away from the company and Grindr’s current vice-chairman Wei Zhou will be executive vice-chairman and CFO, and former Facebook and Instagram veteran Scott Chen will become an integral part of Grindr as CTO.
Does this new shift in the Grindr brand mean changes for the apps 3.3 million daily users? Will this come with new taps or customized emojis? Potential to upload video?
Something that users should be more concerned about is their privacy. U.S. Intelligence Officials are worried that the Chinese government may be accessing personal information and tracking Grindr users. China currently collects personal information to build databases that are used for either influence or intelligence. Still sure you want to host?
According to the Washington Post, Grindr assures that app user security is their priority, and since the company will remain US based, it will abide by U.S. laws. However, Chinese companies are subject to turn over data for the sake of 'public security', a term that all companies must comply with based on Chinese government standards.
Shanthi Kalathil, director of the International Forum for Democratic Studies at the National Endowment for Democracy, has stated:
The problem is that the exact role Chinese firms have in supplying data to the Chinese government is unclear. What is assured is that – unlike in a democracy — if the Chinese government demands this kind of data from Chinese companies, the companies have little recourse but to comply. What we need is more clarity on the implications of these sorts of purchases and what it means for non-Chinese citizens. At the very least, if you are thinking about blackmailing individuals or compelling people to act in a certain way, that information is incredibly valuable.
Just another thing to worry about aside from getting messages from faceless profiles. Grind with caution, boys! It may not matter if you're on the DL anymore.