US President Donald J. Trump has signed executive orders to ban both TikTok and Tencent-owned WeChat apps, rendering their parent companies unable to conduct business with their US counterparts. The move comes as a result of investigations that have marked the two apps as potential security threats able to share their users' data with the Chinese Communist Party.
Effective in 45 days time, the WeChat ban has video game enthusiasts worried, given how tech giant Tencent holds stakes in multiple US video game companies, including Fortnite developer Epic Games, while fully owning Riot Games, the studio behind popular MOBA League of Legends.
At the moment, League of Legends looks to be safe from a ban. A White House official has responded to an LA Times inquiry, clarifying that the signed executive order targeting WeChat "only blocks transactions related to WeChat, not those involving other Tencent holdings".
Trump Bans Tencent-Owned WeChat, League of Legends Safe
Aside from fully owning League of Legends developer Riot Games, Chinese tech giant Tencent has stakes in multiple other video game companies which has already led to many fans becoming weary even before the US began taking action against it.
Niko Partners Senior Analyst Daniel Ahmad has compiled a list of both gaming and non-gaming companies that Tencent has a stake in. They are as follows:
Video Game Companies With Tencent Stake
- Epic Games
- Activision Blizzard
- Platinum Games
- Sumo Digital
- Grinding Gear Games
- Pocket Gems
Non-Video Game Companies With Tencent Stake
- Warner Music
- Skydance Media
- Tim Hortons
- Sea Ltd
Tencent's influence over the video games market is continuously growing as it not only extends its global reach that has already touched the likes of Epic Games and Funcom, but also begins to expand its own operations.
List of gaming companies outside China that Tencent have either a minority or majority stake in— Daniel Ahmad (@ZhugeEX) August 7, 2020
Riot Games, Epic Games, Supercell, Activision Blizzard, Ubisoft, Platinum Games, Marvelous, Roblox, Discord, Sumo Digital, Garena, Bluehole, Paradox, Kakao, Fatshark, Frontier etc.. https://t.co/onkJO7zNn3
While League of Legends is safe from a ban in the US at the moment, it remains to be seen how the situation develops as data collection becomes an increasingly growing concern across the globe.
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