Update: White House officials have clarified that video game companies will not be affected by the executive order signed earlier by the president. You can find more information here.
The original story follows:
President Donald Trump on Thursday issued an executive order banning financial transactions with Chinese company WeChat. WeChat is owned by Tencent, a wholly owned company of Riot Games, as well as stakes in Epic Games and PUBG Corporation. For now, the executive order doesn’t completely block Tencent deals, so fans may have no cause for concern. However, expanding the scope of the executive order could pose future problems for games like Fortnite and PUBG. The move was made as part of Trump’s desire to ban the TikTok app. There has been a lot of shouting among TikTok users, but the loss of these great online games could provoke a bigger reaction. The full executive order can be found in the following Tweet.
MORE: @realDonaldTrump has also signed a similar order banning WeChat transactions. pic.twitter.com/Y4nVlCVBke
̵1; Andrew Feinberg (@AndrewFeinberg) August 7, 2020
Headquartered in China, Tencent is the largest video game company in the world. While the company is not a proper name for most Americans, Tencent has deals with some of the big names in the video game industry, including some of the gaming companies based in the United States. Tencent is wholly owned by Riot Games, 40% by Epic Games, 5% by Activision Blizzard, 5% by Ubisoft and a host of other gaming companies. Tencent plays a massive role in the video game industry in general.
For now, it is unclear whether or not Tencent will be forced to divest its stakes with US companies. It is entirely possible that the ban will be maintained as long as no expansion takes place. The ban is not expected to take place for 45 days, so it could be some time before actions are taken, including challenging the order in a courtroom. Still, Trump has had a clear problem with TikTok and WeChat. Given the huge benefits of games like Fortnite, League of Legends, and PUBG, the total ban could have a massive impact on the video game industry as a whole, as well as on numerous other industries.
ComicBook.com will update this story as new information is revealed.
What do you think of the possible ban on Tencent? Are you surprised by the company’s involvement in the rest of the industry? Let us know in the comments or share it directly on Twitter at @Marcdachamp to talk about all the things in the game!
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