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US government puts pressure on Epic Games and Riot Games over Tencent ties

US government puts pressure on Epic Games and Riot Games over Tencent ties

While TikTok is still in the process of being purely and simply blacklisted, the US government is now looking at the gaming world. Central actors, such as Epic Games and Riot Games, are put under pressure being partly owned by Chinese firm Tencent.

US government puts pressure on Epic Games and Riot Games over Tencent ties

Relatively unscathed this summer, the gaming industry could very soon be plunged into the economic tug-of-war between the United States and China. Suspected of sending the personal data of millions of Americans to China, TikTok has already paid the price.

The social network is still on probation in the US, while a compromise is under consideration — involving a structural relocation of TikTok on American territory.

The dispute is far from over between the two countries. Trump's administration is now looking into the video game companies, including Riot Games (League of Legends) and Epic Games (Fortnite).

Tencent owns 40% of Epic Games and 100% of Riot Games. - Fortnite
Tencent owns 40% of Epic Games and 100% of Riot Games.

Chinese firm Tencent owns 100% of Riot Games and 40% of Epic Games. According to Bloomberg, the two publishers may be forced to provide Trump's government with specific information about their online data security protocols. For the US, the challenge is obviously to dispel the fear of data leakage to China.

Tencent’s U.S. gaming investments, including Riot Games, Epic Games and Activision Blizzard may be at risk of forced divestment similar to ByteDance’s TikTok with the Committee on Foreign Investment in the U.S. launching an inquiry on national security grounds. We estimate Tencent’s U.S. assets could be worth at least $22 billion, and account for 6-7% of its sales and profits.
Vey-Sern Ling and Tiffany Tam, analysts

Aimen Mir, former chair of CFIUS, had previously told Bloomberg that the Committee had been interested in sensitive data about Americans' health or finances, as well as data issued by government employees. He also explained that the Committee has since broadened the spectrum of data under scrutiny considerably.

Original content by Romain "Zorg" Becquelin.

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