There is a possibility that the Chinese government has access to personal user data following the Kunlun Group Ltd buyout of Grindr.
Experts tracking Chinese intelligence and foreign influence operations in the United States say that the Chinese government has made a concerted effort to gather data on both Chinese citizens and foreign nationals.
Former U.S. Government Intelligence Analyst and China Fellow at the Jamestown Foundation Peter Mattis states: “What you can see from Chinese intelligence practices is a clear effort to collect a lot of personal information on a lot of different people, and to build a database of names that’s potentially useful either for influence or for intelligence.
“Then later, when the party-state comes into contact with someone in the database, there’s now information to be pulled”.
The government has been known both to hack databases directly and to work with Chinese firms abroad to illegally access information.
The relationship between companies and the state is opaque in China, but it is widely believed that should a government official demand compliance from a firm, they have little choice but to obey.
Grindr’s VP of Marketing Peter Sloterdyk told The Washington Post that Grindr remains a US company protected by the laws of the United States, and that Grindr has never and never intends to disclose information to the Chinese state.
Kunlun gains total control of Grindr with the acquisition. It purchased 62% of the GBTQ app in 2016, and decided to purchase the remaining 38% last year.
Read more here.