Batten down the hatches, folks. We’re in for another wild bout of economic warfare between America and China that probably won’t actually have much of an effect on the everyday consumer but it’s still really interesting to see how the chaos plays out. Much like the trade ban instilled on Huawei by Donald Trump, the president of the United States has set his sights even higher, going for the ambitious target of Tencent. Now, you might not know who Tencent is but I absolutely guarantee that you’ve used a product, app or service the company either owns or has shares in. It’s one of the largest tech companies in the world and happens to be based in China, meaning Trump wants them to have nothing to do with the USA.
Now, just for a bit of context, Donald Trump has been hard on Chinese owned corporations during his presidency, attempting to limit their functions on American soil and their collaboration with domestic companies. Huawei was the first major business effected by his executive orders, which is why you can’t use Google on a Huawei phone any more and that’s really not as bad as it sounds but it had a lot of people panicking. Now, on to Tencent, a company who owns shares in just about everything, focusing mostly on video games, social media and cloud computing. Ever played League of Legends? Tencent owns that. Clash of Clans? Also Tencent. It also owns 40% of Epic Games and has a 5% share in massive publishers like Ubisoft and Activision Blizzard. They’re massive in the gaming space, yet they also own apps like WeChat which is huge in China yet never really made the jump internationally.
Fact of the matter is, Tencent has fingers in a lot of pies, something which is more than enough to rile up Donald Trump, he of the notoriously calm and totally non-impulsive mind. This is why a new executive order has been placed against Tencent, in tandem with fellow Chinese company TikTok. The order specifically targets WeChat stating, “The following actions shall be prohibited beginning 45 days after the date of this order, to the extent permitted under applicable law: 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.”
Fortunately for the video game industry, the order expressly targets WeChat meaning that developers and publishers will be able to conduct business normally. Look, the social media wasn’t exactly huge in the USA so I doubt there’ll be an American company waiting in the wings to scoop up those operating rights, like how Microsoft is attempting to do with TikTok.
(Source: PC Gamer)