China's Beijing Kunlun to revisit Grindr IPO
By Meg Shen and Echo Wang HONG KONG/NEW YORK (Reuters) - Chinese gaming company Beijing Kunlun Tech Co Ltd said on Monday it would revive plans for an initial public offering (IPO) of popular gay dating app Grindr Inc, after a U.S. national security panel dropped its opposition to the plan. Kunlun said in May it had agreed to a request by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) to sell Grindr, setting a June 2020 deadline to do so and putting preparations for an IPO of Grindr on hold.
By Meg Shen and Echo Wang
HONG KONG/NEW YORK (Reuters) - Chinese gaming company Beijing Kunlun Tech Co Ltd <300418.SZ> said on Monday it would revive plans for an initial public offering (IPO) of popular gay dating app Grindr Inc, after a U.S. national security panel dropped its opposition to the plan.
Kunlun said in May it had agreed to a request by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) to sell Grindr, setting a June 2020 deadline to do so and putting preparations for an IPO of Grindr on hold.
A source familiar with the matter said on Monday that Kunlun's efforts to sell Grindr outright were continuing even as the IPO preparations were relaunched.
A Grindr spokeswoman declined to share more information about the IPO plans. Kunlun did not respond to requests for comment. The U.S Treasury Department, which chairs CFIUS, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
CFIUS has not disclosed its concerns about Kunlun's ownership of Grindr. However, the United States has been increasingly scrutinizing app developers over the safety of personal data they handle, especially if some of it involves U.S. military or intelligence personnel.
Reuters reported in May that Kunlun had given some Beijing-based engineers access to the personal information of millions of Americans, including private messages and HIV status.
Kunlun said in May it would shut down Grindr’s China operations and would not send any sensitive user data to China, in an effort to address concerns over data privacy.
Grindr will be listed on a stock exchange outside China, with the timing of the move to be decided according to overseas capital market conditions, Kunlun said in a filing to the Shenzhen stock exchange on Monday.
Kunlun is one of China's largest mobile gaming companies. It acquired a majority stake in Grindr in 2016 for $93 million and bought out the remainder of the company in 2018. It did so without submitting the transactions for CFIUS review.
Kunlun's control of Grindr has fuelled concerns among privacy advocates in the United States. Democratic U.S. Senators Edward Markey and Richard Blumenthal sent a letter to Grindr last year demanding answers about how the app would protect users’ privacy under its Chinese owner.
(Reporting by Meg Shen in Hong Kong and Echo Wang in New York; Editing by Jan Harvey and Chris Reese)
This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.
By Robin Emmott and John Irish | BRUSSELS/PARIS BRUSSELS/PARIS France and Germany will agree to a U.S. plan for NATO to take a bigger role in the fight against Islamic militants at a meeting with President Donald Trump on Thursday, but insist the move is purely symbolic, four senior European diplomats said.The decision to allow the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to join the coalition against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq follows weeks of pressure on the two allies, who are wary of NATO confronting Russia in Syria and of alienating Arab countries who see NATO as pushing a pro-Western agenda."NATO as an institution will join the coalition," said one senior diplomat involved in the discussions. "The question is whether this just a symbolic gesture to the United States
BEIJING Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday called for greater efforts to make the country's navy a world class one, strong in operations on, below and above the surface, as it steps up its ability to project power far from its shores.China's navy has taken an increasingly prominent role in recent months, with a rising star admiral taking command, its first aircraft carrier sailing around self-ruled Taiwan and a new aircraft carrier launched last month.With President Donald Trump promising a US shipbuilding spree and unnerving Beijing with his unpredictable approach on hot button issues including Taiwan and the South and East China Seas, China is pushing to narrow the gap with the U.S. Navy.Inspecting navy headquarters, Xi said the navy should "aim for the top ranks in the world", the Defence Ministry said in a statement about his visit."Building a strong and modern navy is an important mark of a top ranking global military," the ministry paraphrased Xi as saying.