Grindr has disappeared from the Apple App Store and Google Play Store in China. The platform was removed by Grindr’s operators, citing difficulties in keeping it in compliance with the country’s Personal Information Protection Law.
The new regulations – a localised version of Europe’s General Data Protection Regulation, or GDPR – went into effect at the end of 2021. The law limits personal information stored in apps and requires data transferred between China and other regions to be approved by the Chinese government.
The new regulations were implemented in China on January 27th 2022, and came days after Beijing vowed to renew its campaign to police online content, which sparked concerns that Grindr had been targeted.
Whilst Grindr has disappeared from the App Store and Google Play Store in China, competitors, including Blued, remain accessible across iPhones and Android devices.
The fresh efforts to regulate internet content come just days ahead of the Beijing Winter Olympics, which start on Friday, 4th February. The Cyberspace Administration of China announced a monthlong campaign last week to crack down on online rumours, fake news, pornography and illegal content.
Some Grindr users in China reported connectivity issues over the past few weeks, including the inability to send and receive messages or add likes.
In 2020, the Chinese owner of Grindr, Beijing Kunlun Tech Co, sold the app to investors for about $600 million, after United States regulators required the divestment on national security grounds.