Grindr's Chinese owners could be forced into selling app over privacy concerns

Grindr previously announced it will stop sharing users' HIV status with third-party analytics companies.

LGBTQ app Grindr could be forced into looking for new owners after a United States government national security panel raised concerns about its Chinese parent company.

The app is currently owned by Chinese tech company Beijing Kunlun Tech Co Ltd, which invested in the app in 2016 and then bought out the remainder of the app for $152 million in January 2018. Thereafter, it looked to take the app public.

However, the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) has informed Kunlun that its ownership of Grindr is a national risk because it has concerns about the safety of personal data the company handles, especially if some of it involves U.S. military or intelligence personnel.

According to Reuters, the deals made in 2016 and 2018 by Kunlun to takeover Grindr was done without submitting the acquisition for CFIUS review, making it vulnerable to such an intervention.

Grindr previously announced it will stop sharing users' HIV status with third-party analytics companies.

The US has put Chinese tech developers under the microscope over the safety of personal data they handle. The FBI, CIA and NSA have warned consumers to avoid buying phones built by Huawei, while a National Defense Authorization Act has been introduced to forbid US government agencies from using tech from Huawei and ZTE.

In response, Huawei is suing the US government in a federal court in Texas, where the company's American headquarters are located.

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