Grindr's Chinese Owner Plans Overseas IPO for the Gay Dating App

(Bloomberg) -- Beijing Kunlun Tech Co. is planning an initial public offering for the world’s largest gay social networking app.

Grindr -- a wholly owned unit of the Chinese internet gaming firm -- will list overseas at an unspecified time, the company said. The timing of the share sale will be determined by regulatory approval as well as capital market conditions, it said in a stock exchange filing.

West Hollywood-based Grindr lays claim to being the world’s largest all-male mobile social network with more than 3 million daily active users, according to its website. Its users send an average of 228 million messages and 20 million photos across the platform every day, 2017 data shows.

Kunlun bought a majority stake in the app for just $93 million in 2016, at the height of a wave of Chinese outbound acquisitions that resulted in $150 billion of deals that year, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The Beijing-based company founded by Zhou Yahui acquired the remaining shares this year.

Like many social media outfits globally, the app has come under fire this year over potential privacy violations. Norway’s consumer watchdog filed a complaint against Grindr for violating data protection laws by sharing its users’ sexual preferences and HIV-status with third parties without proper consent. Grindr said at the time that data sharing was standard practice and that it has policies in place to protect its users’ privacy.

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