Chinese gaming company Beijing Kunlun Tech Co Ltd announced last week it has agreed to sell Grindr, a popular gay dating app, for $608.5 million.
The company acquired Grindr in 2016 but since then the U.S. government has scrutinized the company over its handling of personal data.
Kunlan has agreed to sell its 98.59% to San Vicente Acquisition LLC.
Grindr is based in West Hollywood, California, and has over 4.5 million daily active users. It describes itself as the world’s largest social networking app for LGBT people.
Last yearreported that Kunlun had given some Beijing-based engineers access to the personal information of millions of Americans, including private messages and HIV status.
Reuters reports a U.S. government panel asked Kunlun to divest itself of Grindr.
It’s not the first controversy the Chinese company faced over Grindr either.
In 2018 the president of Grindr, Scott Chen, “marriage is a holy matrimony between a man and a woman.” The comments sparked a backlash and were first reported by Grindr’s own digital magazine, Into.that he believes
Chen later apologized saying, “I wrote a post on my personal Facebook account meant to condemn those advocating against same-sex marriage in Taiwan. The words I chose related to marriage between a man and a woman were meant to express my personal feelings about my own marriage to my wife — not to suggest that I am opposed to marriage equality. I am an advocate for LGBTQ+ rights and have been since I was young. I support gay marriage and I am proud that I can work for Grindr. I apologize that my words did not clearly convey these feelings.”
Six weeks later Grindr shutdown down the magazine.