Home Web internet Dating app Grindr disappears from Chinese app stores

Dating app Grindr disappears from Chinese app stores

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Gay dating app Grindr has vanished from several app stores in China as authorities tighten control of the country’s already tightly controlled internet and purge online behavior the ruling Chinese Communist Party doesn’t like .

The country’s cyber authority is in the midst of a month-long campaign to remove illegal and sensitive content during the Lunar New Year holiday and the Winter Olympics this month.

Although the world’s most populous nation decriminalized homosexuality in 1997, same-sex marriage is illegal and LGBTQ issues remain taboo. The LGBTQ community is under pressure as censorship of web content combines with a ban on depictions of gay romance in movies.

Data from mobile research firm Qimai shows Grindr was removed from Apple Inc’s App Store in China on Thursday.

Searches for the matchmaking app on Android and similar platforms operated by Chinese companies also yielded no results. The Google Play Store is not available in China.

Neither Grindr nor Apple responded to AFP’s requests for comment. Local Grindr competitors such as Blued remain available for download.

Grindr’s former Chinese owner, Beijing Kunlun Tech Co (北京崑崙萬維科技), sold the app to investors in 2020 under pressure from US authorities over concerns that potential misuse of its data posed risks for national security.

On Tuesday, the Cyberspace Administration announced a crackdown on rumours, pornography and other web content. The campaign aims to “create a civilized, healthy, festive and conducive online atmosphere for public opinion during the Lunar New Year,” the administration said in a statement.

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