Gay dating app Grindr has seen heavy investment from a Chinese videogame developer called Beijing Kunlun Tech who bought a majority stake for a reported $93m (£64m). The 60% controlling share in the dating app that matches gay men with those around them has raised eyebrows with China's less-than-liberal stance on homosexuality.
Grindr launched in 2009 in Los Angeles and has rapidly grown in popularity with two million visitors per day and is available in 196 countries. China, however, is not one of them but does pose a lip-smacking untapped resource for huge growth should the app be introduced to the Chinese market.
Beijing Kunlun Tech's owner, Zhou Yahui, is a relatively unknown name in the tech scene but has made a $2.8bn fortune through free-to-play online videogames and an extremely successful IPO on Shenzhen's ChiNext stock exchange.
As the FT reports, Kunlun is looking to expand its portfolio by moving away from gaming and following the likes of Baidu and Alibaba by investing in growing US start-ups.
"We built our name in gaming, so we are constantly seeking a popular international platform that will draw gaming traffic, and where we can advertise ourselves and increase our presence overseas. Grindr was a perfect match," Kunlun said. "It's not so much that it's a gay platform as that we see its huge potential to grow and be profitable."
Although it could offer plenty of potential Kunlun, has not explicitly said it has plans to launch Grindr in China but if it did, it would face competition from Blued – a gay dating app created by an ex-policeman that sees three million daily users and is often described as the Grindr of China.
Grindr founder Joel Simkhai expressed his delight at the deal in a blog post where he wrote "a huge vote of confidence in our vision to connect gay men to even more of the world around them".