The popular LGBTQ dating app Grindr has been pulled from the Apple App Store in China, as first reported by Bloomberg. Sources with knowledge of the situation, however, tell 9to5Mac that it wasn’t Apple who pulled the application, but rather the parent company of Grindr itself.
As the report from Bloomberg explains, Grinder was removed from the App Store sometime last week. It’s also unavailable on Android app markets in the country. These Android app stores are run by companies such as Tencent and Huawei in China, as Google’s own Play Store is unavailable in the country.
Some context on the timing of this removal, courtesy of Bloomberg:
Grindr’s removal comes as China kicks off fresh efforts to regulate internet content ahead of the Beijing Winter Olympics. The Cyberspace Administration of China last week announced a month-long campaign to crack down on online rumors, pornography and illegal content.
Some Grindr users in China reported connectivity issues over the past few weeks, including the inability to send and receive messages or add likes.
Grindr was once owned by a Chinese video game development company Kunlun Tech, but it was sold to US-based investors for over $600 million in March of 2020.
While some headlines have been quick to say that Apple is responsible for Grindr disappearing from the App Store in China, that’s not the case. Sources familiar with the situation tell 9to5Mac that it was Grindr itself who removed the app from the App Store in China. Apple has purged thousands of apps from the App Store in China over the years to comply with local regulations, but this is not an instance of that.
We’ve reached out to Apple for comment on this situation and will update if we hear back.
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