This picture taken on March 27, 2019 shows the Grindr app on a phone in Los Angeles. A Chinese firm has been ordered by American national security officials to sell popular gay dating app Grindr, The Wall Street Journal reported on March 27.
Chris DELMAS / AFP
US officials order Chinese company to sell Grindr — report
(Philstar.com) - March 28, 2019 - 1:29pm

WASHINGTON — A Chinese firm has been ordered by American national security officials to sell popular gay dating app Grindr, The Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday.

The officials fear that people with security clearances who use the app could be blackmailed by Beijing, the newspaper reported, citing unnamed sources.

Beijing Kunlun Tech bought a majority stake in Grindr in 2016.

The company paid $93 million for a 60-percent stake that year, acquiring the remainder two years later for $152 million, the newspaper said.

Officials worry that the company would have "no choice but to share information" on Grindr users if Chinese authorities demanded it do so, the Journal said.

Grindr, which bills itself as "the world's largest social networking app for gay, bi, trans and queer people," was founded in 2009 and says it has millions of users worldwide.

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