China has promised to crack down on numerous types of online information, thus the absence comes as a surprise.
In China, Grindr is still having issues. According to Bloomberg, the gay dating app has vanished from the country’s Apple App Store, with experts at Qimai believing the software was removed on January 27th. The departure was not immediately explained, but it happened only days after China’s Cyberspace Administration launched a push to remove illicit internet content, pornography, and rumors ahead of the Winter Olympics.
Apple and Grindr have been contacted for comment. The app’s demise followed weeks of troubles with Grindr’s service, including issues with adding likes and sending messages.
In China, Homosexuality is not a crime. Nonetheless, the country has censored gay and other LGBT content on occasion. Bloomberg Reports that the National Radio and Television Administration has recently slammed androgynous-looking males with homophobic words and urged for boycotts of gay male love stories. If Grindr’s removal was directed by regulators, it could have been part of a bigger push to impose social conformity.
Grindr, on the other hand, already had a tense relationship with the Chinese authorities. Before it was forced to sell because to US sanctions, the company was Chinese-owned, and China-based competitors like Blued continue on the App Store despite Grindr’s demise. If those applications continue to exist, that seems China selected out Grindr rather than targeting all gay dating apps.
Regardless of the reasons for the removal, it underlines a persistent issue for Apple and other international app store owners seeking to operate in China. While they may preach about the significance of freedom and privacy in their own countries, China’s restrictions regularly require them to remove apps or remove functionality in order to stay in one of the world’s largest mobile device markets. Simply said, if Apple wants to maintain a large Chinese presence, it must accept concessions.
Maxandfix is aware of the situation. Due to the possibility for issues arising from China’s Personal Information Protection Law, which protects private data, Grindr withdrew the app. Notably, any cross-border data transfers must proceed through the Cyberspace Administration, according to the law. That might be a problem given how important international transfers are to Grindr’s business.