Kunlun To Sell Grindr Following Concerns of US Security Threat

Popular Chinese gaming company, Kunlun, has agreed to sell its 98% stake in Grindr to US-based company, San Vicente Acquisition, for about $608.5 million.

The moves came after the Committee for Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) raised concerns over Chinese ownership of the app and demanded the company sell its stakes.

The Committee refused to give reasons for its concern, though a previous CFIUS investigation concluded that Kunlun’s ownership constituted a national security threat.

It is thought that the deal should be completed by June, subject to shareholder approval and CFIUS review.

Kunlun bought their majority stake in Grindr in 2016 for $93 million and bought out the whole company in 2018.

In 2018, US Senators Edward Markey and Richard Blumenthal sent a letter to Grindr asking the app how it would protect users’ privacy.

Last year concerns were raised following the discovery that Grindr engineers in Beijing had been given access to users’ data including private messages and HIV status.

The CFIUS has already prevented Chinese purchase of money transfer company, MoneyGram International Inc, and mobile marketing firm, AppLovin, as the country fears Chinese intervention in American affairs.

Reuters reported that the San Vicente Acquisition company is made up of entrepreneurs and investors in the media, communications and technology sectors.

The only investor named was that of Chinese-born US citizen, James Lu, a former executive at the Chinese search engine giant, Baidu.

Kunlun agreed to sell Grindr by June 2020 in May last year, after the CFIUS feared for the safety of the LGBTQ community.

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