Grindr’s Founder Quit After A Chinese Company Bought Him Out

Last year, we shared the news that Chinese company Beijing Kunlun Tech was going to buy all the stakes in Grindr.

Now, it seems that Joel Simkhai, the founder and former CEO of Grindr has decided to step down from his position.

“We have achieved our success because of the strength and global reach of our community,” Simkhai said. “I look forward to Grindr and Kunlun’s continued commitment to building tolerance, equality, and respect around the world.”

Kunlun Group Limited is the specific company that bought out Grindr, which is a subsection of the larger Chinese video game company Beijing Kunlun Tech.

The company first had bought out 62% of Grindr for $93 million in January of last year, and then announced they wanted to buy the rest of the company in May.

Now that Simkhai has stepped down, Yahui Zhou, the current chair of the board for Grindr, will work as the interim CEO until a more permanent solution is found.

In a statement, Zhou said, “Looking forward, we are extremely excited about the excellent work Grindr is doing in becoming a leading global technology company, serving and supporting our users no matter where they are in the world.”

For those concerned of the anti-gay Chinese government getting involved, there is less to worry about than you’d expect. We say this primarily because of the success of the Blued app.

Blued is the most used gay app in the world and offers several features besides a grid to find hookups. It provides video chat and streaming, blog space, articles, and connections to several community outreach programs/charities.

Most importantly, Blued creator Geng Le states that the Chinese government trusts his company and app.

While having a new company in charge may bring worries of policy change, it seems that at least the government shouldn't get involved. That is, as long as Grindr follows the same path of making money.

Man Sues Chinese Government For Its Ban On Gay Content Online

Fan Chunlin is a 30-year-old Shanghai citizen who just filed a lawsuit Wednesday demanding China’s State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television (SAPPRFT) to specify why gay content has been banned from tv and the internet.

Thankfully, Beijing’s No. 1 Intermediate People’s Court has accepted this case, will hold hearings, and will come to a decision within the next six months.

Fan’s lawsuit is a reaction to the policy placed last summer that banned gay content on the internet.

Fan’s case is asking that the Chinese government explain its legal backing and description of homosexuality as “abnormal.”

Yanzi Peng, founder of LGBTQ Rights Advocacy of China, expressed his support of Fan to the Hollywood Reporter.

"We expect to lose somehow, because this is a national government department [we are challenging]," he says. "But we still wanted to file the case because we have to show the position from our community and to tell society that we are not abnormal."

He added: "This regulation is very important, because it's not just one film or program. It's a rule for all film and TV content on the internet. If this kind of regulation isn't challenged, it means that discrimination against homosexuality is officially OK in China."

Gay representation in entertainment media has been a taboo in China for some time now, but an increasing presence of it has caused the Chinese government to become increasingly hostile towards it.

China banned Michael Fassbender’s gay kiss in Alien: Covenant and completely shut down popular gay web series Addicted: The Web Series.

That said, the country has been slightly accepting of gay people on the internet such as their support of gay dating app Blued or their allowance of the “gay moment” in Beauty and the Beast.

We’ll see what happens with Fan Chunlin’s lawsuit and will keep you updated as it goes along.

Gay Dating App Blued Might Be The Best App In The World

Screenshot / via Bloomberg

There’s a lot of concern around China when it comes to gay content. China is constantly banning or flagging gay content in movies or series like Alien Covenant or Addicted the Web Series.

On top of that, Chinese companies have gotten hold of several gay dating apps and many fear they will ruin these apps.

For instance, earlier this year Grindr was officially bought out by Chinese company Beijing Kunlun Tech. The company had already bought 61.5% of Grindr’s stakes before deciding to buy the rest in May.

Then, a new sugar daddy app called DaddyBear came onto the scene this summer and offended many people for its jargon that ostracizes gay men living with HIV. It turns out that the company behind that app is also from China.

But, what we often forget is that the largest gay app in the world, and possibly the best one, is Chinese based Blued.

Blued is like any other gay app in that it helps gay men meet other gay men. That said, the app also has multiple other features that several apps lack. These features include having a built in news site, entertainment such as gaming, and a live streaming feature where streamers can earn money.

Perhaps the reason this app is so successful and focused on actually bettering the lives of gay men is that it was created by a gay man who wanted to find a way to connect with other gay men.

To find out that story and more, check out the video down below.