Gay dating app Grindr disappeared from several Chinese app stores as authorities tightened control over China’s internet. They also wanted to eliminate online behavior that the ruling Communist Party does not like. The country’s cyber authorities are currently undergoing a month-long campaign against illegal and sensitive content. This is in response to the Lunar New Year holiday in China and the February Winter Olympics in which the ruling Communist Party dislikes. As censorship of web content is combined with a ban on gay romance depicted in movies, the LGBTQ community is under severe pressure.
Qimai, a mobile research company, has data that shows Grindr was removed in China from Apple’s App Store on Thursday.
No results were returned for searches for matchmaking apps on Android or similar platforms owned by Chinese companies.
Google’s Play Store in China is unavailable
AFP did not reach out to Apple or Grindr for comment.
Blued, a local Grindr competitor, is still available for download.
Beijing Kunlun Tech, the Chinese ex-owner of Grindr, sold the app in 2020 to investors under US pressure. They were concerned about the possibility of misuse of their data, which could pose national security threats.
The Chinese cyberspace administration announced Tuesday that it would be cracking down on pornography, rumors and other web content.
According to the administration, the campaign is designed to create a civilized and healthy online environment for public opinion during Lunar New Year.
Last year, WeChat blocked social media accounts belonging major universities LGBTQ rights groups.