No, Trump's Tencent Order will not be Going To Ban 'League of Legends …

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Last night, President Trump shocked most of the world by signing an executive order targeting not just TikTok, but also WeChat, two massive Chinese platforms, and also their parent companies, ByteDance and Tencent.

About Trump's

No, Trump's Tencent Order Is Not Going To Ban 'League of Legends …

About Tencent
Tencent Holdings Ltd is a global multinational conglomerate holding company founded in 1998, whose subsidiaries specialise in various Internet-related services and products, entertainment, artificial intelligence and technology globally. Its twin-skyscrapers headquarters Tencent Seafront Towers (also known as Tencent Binhai Mansion) are based in Nanshan District, Shenzhen.
Tencent is the world’s largest video game company, one of the world’s most financially valuable companies, one of the world’s largest social media companies, and one of the world’s largest venture capital firms and investment corporations. Its services include social network, music, web portals, e-commerce, mobile games, internet services, payment systems, smartphones, and multiplayer online games. Offerings in China include the instant messengers Tencent QQ and WeChat, and one of the largest web portals, QQ.com. It also owns the majority of Global’s music services (Tencent Music Entertainment), with more than 700 million active users and 120 million paying subscribers.
The company surpassed the market value of US$500 billion in 2018, becoming the first Asian technology company to cross the valuation mark. It has since then emerged as one of Asia’s most valuable companies, and among the world’s top technology companies by market value. Tencent has been credited as one of the world’s most innovative companies by numerous media and firms. As of 2018, Tencent has the 5th highest global brand value.Tencent controls hundreds of subsidiaries and associates in numerous industries and areas, creating a broad portfolio of investments across a diverse range of businesses. It has stakes in over 600 companies, and recent focus on tech start-ups in Asia.

If Tencent sounds familiar to you, that’s because every couple of months or so the company invests in some new gaming or technology company, many of which are US-based, many of which are responsible for some of the largest games in the world.

For a few hours last night, the wording of the executive order was nebulous enough where it seemed like Trump may have inadvertently decimated huge chunks of the video game industry by banning transactions with WeChat’s Tencent. Here’s the text of the order:

No, Trump's Tencent Order Is Not Going To Ban 'League of Legends …

“…any transaction that is related to WeChat by any person, or with respect to any property, subject to the jurisdiction of the United States, with Tencent Holdings Ltd.”

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It was easy to see how that could mean any company Tencent had a stake in. And who does that include?

Riot Games, maker of League of Legends, where Tencent has a 100% stake.

Supercell, maker of Clash of Clans, where Tencent has an 84% stake.

Epic Games, maker of Fortnite, where Tencent has a 40% stake.

Activision Blizzard and Ubisoft with 5% stakes. Hell, Tencent even gave Bungie some money for an upcoming new game. It’s a long list, and a nightmare if “no transactions with Tencent companies” was actually enforced.

But by the end of the night, the gaming industry did not seem to be at risk from this order as reporters pressed the administration to clarify.

Here’s the biggest confirmation from the LA Times, which says the administration was only trying to target WeChat and WeChat-adjacent transactions, not literally everything Tencent has a hand in like all those video game publishers.

It did seem like…a bit of a stretch that Trump’s order, which takes effect in 45 days, would actually devastate the gaming industry and surprise, surprise, this seemed like cloudy wording that just needed to be clarified.

That said, the TikTok and WeChat issues are still huge in the tech world. TikTok has been the major focus of recent conversations with the Trump administration essentially demanding it be sold to an American company to restrict Beijing’s access to its data. WeChat was the bigger shock, however, as it’s essentially the Facebook of China and how many Chinese families and businesspeople communicate with their relatives and partners back home. Banning that app would be devastating for them, and yet again, from the executive order it’s not clear if something as simple as sending messages from WeChat would be disallowed, or if it’s only about giving money to Tencent for WeChat-related things is what’s being targeted.

But in short, no, Donald Trump does not seem imminently poised to decimate the video game industry. At least not right now. Let’s hope he doesn’t run into any hackers in his next Fortnite game and change his mind.

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