A new report from Bloomberg notes that the Trump administration is now looking at game companies which have dealings with Tencent, or that Tencent has stake in.
This includes its 40-percent stake in Epic Games, and Riot Games. Tencent, which might be known best for its ownership of Riot Games, the creator of League Of Legends, also has stake in numerous other game companies.
For mobile gamers, Call Of Duty: Mobile might be the most well-known. Activision is the publisher and Call Of Duty is an Activision-owned franchise. However, the game itself is not developed in-house.
Tencent’s TiMi Studios is actually behind the development. Meanwhile Activision simply handles all the marketing and promotion for the game. Tencent also has stake in Activision Blizzard among others. And overall its reach spans far and wide. Encompassing over 300 gaming investments.
The attention on game companies Tencent is involved with is about security
Tencent, which is the owner of WeChat, has been under scrutiny from the Trump administration for months now.
As of this morning WeChat and TikTok were officially banned by the US government. And the ban goes in to place on September 20. Which is this coming Sunday.
This new look at Tencent’s gaming investments boils down to security. According to the report, letters were sent to Epic Games, Riot Games, and other companies that Tencent has investment in, asking what security protocols are in place to hand personal data of American users.
As of right now, no comments have been made by either the companies involved or the US Treasury Department. Which oversees the Committee of Foreign Investments, the department sending out the letters and making inquiries.
Tencent’s investments may be at risk of being divested
Bloomberg’s report speculates that Tencent’s investments may face a potential risk of being divested.
Whether or not that happens would depend on the outcomes of the inquiries being made. But given the recent ban of WeChat and TikTok, divestment of Tencent’s gaming stakes can’t necessarily be ruled out.
This comes months after the initial statement that TikTok and WeChat were under consideration of a ban. At the time it was noted that Tencent’s gaming investments, like Call Of Duty: Mobile, League of Legends, and others, would not be subject to the ban.
And so far they haven’t been. Since the official ban for WeChat came out this morning and is due to begin as of this weekend, no games related to Tencent are impacted. Now that inquiries are being made separately though, it seems Tencent’s gaming investments may not be completely in the clear.