Updated 8/7: LA Times reporter, Sam Dean, tweeted that a White House Official clarified that the ban would not affect any games companies, that the order would "only block transactions related to WeChat." He clarifies that Riot Games, Epic Games, etc. are safe from the ban, but also notes there may be future updates that could change the final functionality of the executive order. That update can be seen in the LA Times report.
United States President Donald Trump signed Friday a pair of executive orders (EO), banning mobile app TikTok and parent company Bytedance, as well as transactions to Tencent Holding's chat app WeChat. The orders go into effect in 45 days, counted from August 6.
In regards to TikTok, Trump's EO expresses concern over the app's data collection of personal information which "threatens to allow the Chinese Communist Party access to Americans' personal and proprietary information -- potentially allowing China to track the locations of Federal employees and contractors, build dossiers of personal information for blackmail, and conduct corporate espionage". The EO also addresses TikTok's reported censorship of politically sensitive content and its potential use of "disinformation campaigns that benefit the Chinese Communist Party", pointing out that "these risks are real"
Trump's concerns expressed in the WeChat EO are similar, but although it's likely meant to specifically target WeChat for being the same danger to the United States as TikTok, the language in this EO also prohibits "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 Holding Ltd. [...], or any subsidiary of that entity".
Apart from WeChat, Tencent's subsidiaries in gaming especially are plenty, as the mega-corporation fully or partly owns several game developers, including Riot Games, Blizzard, and Epic Games. If the effects of the EO do extend to cover these entities, it could lead to ramifications for some of the most played games in the world, including League of Legends, Fortnite, World of Warcraft, Overwatch, Clash Royale, and Arena of Valor.
The story is developing.
Disclaimer: The original version of this story included language that potentially misrepresented the intent of the WeChat Executive Order. It's been since redacted for clarity.
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