After acquiring a majority stake in the world’s leading gay dating app Grindr last year, a Chinese gaming company is now in the process of buying the whole darn thing.
In January 2016, Beijing Kunlun Tech purchased 61.5% of Grindr for $93 million. Earlier this week, it doubled down, announcing plans to purchase the remaining 38.5% for $152 million, Reuters reports citing a company statement.
It’s not clear what this move means for the future of Grindr. While the gaydar-in-your pocket mobile app is accessible in China it lags far behind already successful and well-entrenched domestic alternatives like Blued, which counts 27 million registered users, putting it nearly on par with Grindr. When Beijing Kunlun first invested last year, Grindr founder Joel Simkhai said that it would be “business as usual… but with a renewed sense of purpose and additional resources” for the world leader in same-sex hookups.
However, the South China Morning Post reports that this time by buying a 100% stake, Beijing Kunlun plans to become “fully involved” in daily operations at Grindr, though it’s not certain where this involvement will lead.
While mostly anonymous internationally, Beijing Kunlun is one of China’s largest game developers and is set on following in the footsteps of other Chinese tech enterprises like Tencent by expanding into different realms to become a global company. Last September, its (straight) chairman, 40-year-old billionaire Zhou Yahui, divorced his wife, costing himself $1.1 billion in one of the biggest divorce settlements in Chinese history, making us wonder if he had been spending too much time playing around with his new toy.
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