Joel Simkhai says that hook-up apps such as his are not killing off the gay club scene.

In fact, the businessman believes the opposite is true.

“Even before Grindr, I think, sometimes you wouldn’t go out,” Simkhai told Time Out Hong Kong.

“But today if you go to any gay bar or club, you’ll see many people are using Grindr.”

He added that app users are “still socialising” in bars and clubs “very well”.

Simkhai says the app adds confidence, especially to gay men who are too shy to approach potential lovers in clubs.

Speaking of the reputation Grindr has – with critics claiming they lead to a lack of human interaction and lead to an increase in rape and STIs – he went to say the app is what users make of it.

“At the end of the day, Grindr is an app that shows the guys around you and you can meet them,” he said.

“We make it very easy to meet people nearby. Some of them do hook up, yet some of them become friends, boyfriends and even roommates – and that’s just the natural way of life.

“You meet someone and many different things can happen. It’s about all kind of experiences and I’m very comfortable with it,” he explained.

“I use this app myself as well, and I know millions of guys who use it whichever way is useful to them. So we’re very proud of it.”

Simkhai – who recently sold 60% of the company to a Chinese gaming giant – also spoke of the role the app can play in improving the situation for gay men in countries that treat homosexuality as a crime.

“It’s hard to change a culture, but there are a couple of things we can do – we can make it easier for guys to meet.

“Gay men are men. In every culture, every society needs to accept their people. It should be consistent in every culture.”