Grindr’s China owner sells gay dating app for US$600 mil

HONG KONG: The Chinese owner of gay dating app Grindr has reached a deal to offload one of the world’s largest LGBT social platforms, a year after US regulators pressed for disposal over national security concerns.

Beijing Kunlun Tech Co said in a Friday filing to the Shenzhen Stock Exchange that it has agreed to sell its 99% stake in Grindr LLC to San Vicente Acquisition LLC for about US$608.5 million.

The deal has already been given the green light by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the US, better known as CFIUS, which required the Chinese firm to unwind its purchase of Grindr, according to the filing.

The sale underscores a growing concern in the US that Beijing could use Chinese tech companies as a tool to amass sensitive data on millions of American citizens.

The US watchdog has also begun a review of ByteDance Inc’s 2017 purchase of the business that became TikTok, a viral mini-video app.

Kunlun bought a majority stake in Grindr for just US$93 million in 2016 and acquired the remaining shares two years later.

Prior to the CFIUS inquiry, the Chinese firm was planning an initial public offering for the app overseas.