Pin It
dt1

Talking business mergers with horny guys on Grindr

A Beijing gaming company has bought a 60 per cent stake in the hook up app – we asked users looking for sex what they thought about the investment

Yesterday’s announcement that Chinese gaming giant Beijing Kunlun Tech has purchased a controlling stake in gay hook-up app Grindr made headlines around the world. After the news broke, commentary swirled online about what this might mean for Grindr’s two million daily users – who spend an average of 54 minutes on the app a day. Grindr is the second most popular dating app in China, a country in which LGBT people report high levels of discrimination and where foreign social networking sites are traditionally banned.

Amidst all this talk and counter-talk, it occurred to us that no-one was asking the people that matter what this actually means. Horny Grindr users, that is.

Unfortunately, I’m not on Grindr myself, for the obvious reason that I’m a straight woman. Luckily my friend Liam volunteered to help out, mostly because he wants “to raise his profile amongst the hot gays who read Dazed”. If you’re reading this and you’re into Trinidad-born marketing experts who live in London, here’s Liam’s Instagram – hit him up.

Back to the subject at hand. What do the horny guys who use Grindr think of the fact that their favourite hook-up app has been bought by a Chinese gaming behemoth? With Liam at the controls, and me sending him the questions, it was time to talk business mergers with London’s Grindr elite. We didn’t get off to an auspicious start.

"NSA visiting" is upfront about his total lack of interest in Grindr’s new ownership. While this is understandable – after all, he’s only visiting – I can’t help but feel this is a short-sighted view. After all, if you’re going to send dick pics to strangers, don’t you want to know whether Grindr’s going to be selling your user data to authoritarian foreign regimes?

Our next user is also disinterested. To be fair, his tone was less “I don’t give a fuck” and more “politely bemused”. When he plaintively asks “u not looking for sex?” I feel kind of guilty for wasting his time - after all, he’s just looking for someone to make him feel less alone for a while - so it’s time for Liam and I to move on.

Our business merger chat gets more promising with Decent. Although he hasn’t heard about the acquisition, he was interested to learn more about Zhou Yahui, Grindr’s billionaire new owner (here’s a Forbes profile to get you started) and wondered whether we were concerned or not. For your willingness to learn, and the fact that you’re into “hung intelligent guys” – Decent, we commend you.  

Turns out, there are some horny gay guys who want to talk business mergers on Grindr. Ben stands out for his nuanced understanding of China’s social media landscape. He’s right, of course. Just because Beijing Kunlun Tech owns 60 per cent of Grindr’s shares, doesn’t mean it’s going to beat Bluer, China’s No1 gay hook up app – although we agree with you that it will probably turn out to be a positive thing for China’s LGBT community.

Appropriately for someone with a question mark after his name, Fun? raises some important questions about what the BKT acquisition will mean for Grindr’s expansion plans. Whilst it’s too soon to tell if Grindr will rebrand as a social network, we agree it would be ‘amusing’ if they went all LinkedIn on us. Imagine adding your boss on Grindr? Nope, we can’t either.

It’s down to a user called 26 Deepthroat to quite literally blow us away with his detailed knowledge of the Chinese fintech landscape. Showing there’s so much more to him than his exceptional fellatio skills, Deepthroat provides an incisive analysis of what the acquisition might mean for Grindr users - particularly his theory that there’s potential for the Chinese government to misuse personal data. If there was a golden, phallus-shaped trophy for “Most Knowledgeable Grindr User”, I’d give it to you in a heartbeat, Deepthroat. It just goes to show - there’s so much more to Grindr than horny guys and dick pics.