The new executive order issued by Donald Trump may have tremendous implications, blocking any financial interaction between TikTok parent company, ByteDance, and US entities, opening the door for a new wave of discomfort in the gaming world.
Since the wording of the executive order, is at best, precarious, it took some time for people to realize what the “national emergency with respect to the information and communications technology and services supply chain” and “automatically captures vast swaths of information from its users, including Internet and other network activity information such as location data and browsing and search histories” actually mean.
As Sam Dean, from the LA Times, noted from a White House source, the document only refers to Tencent transactions that involve WeChat and all transactions between TikTok and parent company ByteDance.
Tencent is a big player in the US financial market, with investments that range from the movie industry to gaming studios or publishers. The Chinese company had a hand in franchises like Transformers, Wonder Woman, Top Gun: Maverick, Terminator: Dark Fate, and Venom. It owns Riot Games and has investments in Epic Games and Activision Blizzard.
In simple words, because of the wording of this new executive order, The President of the US may have, unintentionally, banned any financial interaction between Tencent and US companies that the Chinese firm has interests in, crippling in one swift action, almost half of the online gaming industry.
There are 45 days until this order comes into effect, and until then, it will be attacked by Chinese and US entities that hold a financial interest in the respective markets. Epic Games shouldn’t be affected by this order, not being wholly owned by Tencent. As for Riot Games, things may turn out somber, as Tencent owns 100% of the company.
Other companies that Tencent has an interest in are Ubisoft, Bluehole, Activision Blizzard, Supercell, Reddit, Discord, Paradox Interactive, Funcom, Frontier Development, and Snarkbomb.
We will keep you updated, as the story develops.