Update: White House officials have clarified that video game companies will not be impacted by the executive order signed earlier today by the President. More information can be found right here.
Original story follows below:
On Thursday, President Donald Trump issued an executive order banning financial transactions with the Chinese company WeChat. WeChat is owned by Tencent, a company that fully owns Riot Games, as well as stakes in Epic Games and PUBG Corporation. For now, the executive order does not block Tencent's dealings entirely, so fans might not have any cause for concern. However, should the scope of the executive order be expanded, it could lead to future troubles for games like Fortnite and PUBG. The move was made as part of Trump's desire to ban the TikTok app. There has been a large outcry from TikTok users, but the loss of these major online games would likely lead to a bigger backlash. The entirety of the executive order can be found in the Tweet below.
Based in China, Tencent is the world's largest video game company. While the company is not a household name to most Americans, Tencent has dealings with some of the biggest names in the video game industry, including a number gaming companies based in the United States. Tencent fully owns Riot Games, 40% of Epic Games, 5% of Activision Blizzard, 5% of Ubisoft, and a plethora of other gaming companies. Tencent plays a massive role in the video game industry as a whole.
For now, it's unclear whether or not Tencent will be forced to divest from its holdings with American companies. It's entirely possible that the ban will remain as is, and will not see any kind of expansion. The ban is not set to take place for 45 days, so it could be some time before actions are taken including a challenge to the order in a courtroom. However, Trump has clearly taken issue with TikTok and WeChat. Given the major profits games like Fortnite, League of Legends and PUBG bring in, a full ban could have a massive impact on the video game industry as a whole, as well as numerous other industries.
ComicBook.com will update this story as new information is revealed.
What do you think about the possible ban on Tencent? Are you surprised by the company's ownership stake in the rest of the industry? Let us know in the comments or share directly on Twitter at @Marcdachamp to talk all things gaming!