One of China’s biggest mobile gaming companies has bowed to pressure from the United States authorities to sell popular gay dating app, Grindr.
The app, which was sold for $608 million became an issue of concern after National Security officials in Washington said it could be misused by the Chinese government to blackmail Americans with government security clearances.
Beijing Kunlun Tech took a majority stake in the app in 2016 and bought the remaining equity two years later for a combined $245 million, but was reportedly ordered to relinquish the platform by US officials last year.
It will sell a 98.59 percent stake of the firm which bills itself as the world’s largest social networking space for LGBT people to San Vicente Acquisition, a holding company based in the US state of Delaware, according to a company filing with the Shenzhen Stock Exchange on Friday.
The deal is awaiting approval from a US committee authorised to review transactions involving foreign investments, the filing said.
Grindr has faced other accusations of improperly managing the data under Beijing Kunlun’s ownership.
The platform also allegedly violated European Union privacy regulations by sharing the GPS data, age and gender of its users with third-party companies to help target advertisements, according to a report by a Norwegian consumer rights group.