Gay dating app Grindr appears to have been removed from multiple app stores in China.
The disappearance of the Grindr app is being read as part of the government's ongoing tightening of control over internet access and online behaviour in China.
The move coincides with the Winter Olympics in Beijing - a key moment of international importance for the country.
It's a complicated landscape for LGBTQ people in China. Same-sex sexual encounters are legal, but homosexuality remains a relatively taboo subject. Increasing censorship appears to be targeted at LGBTQ content, making queer visibility and community difficult.
Apple has told journalists that the Grindr app was removed from their store by Grindr developers. So far, Grindr hasn't made any public comment on what's happening behind the scenes.
Grindr was established in the US in 2009. The app quickly grew to become one of the largest dating apps in the world. It was subsequently sold to a Chinese company - Beijing Kunlun Tech. In 2020, US regulators forced Kunlun to sell Grindr - citing data sensitivity concerns.
Blued - the Chinese-owned app that is the dominant gay dating app in China - remains available in the App store and available for download in China.
The government department responsible for this kind of thing in China is the Cyberspace Administration. That department has announced that its focus is to crack down on fake news and pornorgraphy - it's aiming to “create a civilised, healthy, festive and auspicious online atmosphere for public opinion during the lunar new year.”