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And thanks to the government’s authoritarian approach to life online, that in turn comes with serious privacy concerns.
As Human Rights Watch put it in a 2018 report, China is “one of the strictest online censorship regimes in the world”.
And indeed, some of the law’s provisions may directly affect Grindr, requiring it to abide by social morality and “accept supervision by the government”.
But there are obviously questions about whether that confidence is justified.
There is evidence that the Chinese government has access to private conversations online.
In 2017, for instance, Beijing police arrested the creator of a We Chat group for discussing political and social issues.
But the complaint and the outraged reaction overlooked another turn of events: in January 2018, Grindr was acquired by the Chinese corporate group Beijing Kunlun Tech for US5m.
At the time, this prompted speculation as to whether Chinese authorities could access the data of the app’s 27m users in Europe and overseas.
These sporadic but dramatic crackdowns on non-heterosexual people intersect with the government’s remarkable powers of surveillance and censorship.