President Donald Trump surprised many on Thursday night, when he officially signed an executive order banning business with ByteDance, the parent company of the popular social media app TikTok. In addition, Trump issued an executive order banning financial transactions with WeChat, a Chinese company that is owned by the conglomerate Tencent. While it has only been a short stretch of time since these orders were signed, their ramifications have already begun to be speculated about -- especially when it comes to the Tencent of it all. As some were quick to notice, the wording of one section of the WeChat ban forbids “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...or any subsidiary of that entity”.
If that wording is a reference to everything under the Tencent umbrella - as opposed to just WeChat - it could potentially have ripple effects on the company's impact on the film industry. Tencent owns Tencent Pictures, a Chinese film distributor and production company with ties to a surprising amount of blockbusters. The company is tied to two major movies that are set to come out in 2021 -- Paramount's Top Gun: Maverick, and Sony's Monster Hunter. Just over the past few years, it has been involved with films such as Wonder Woman, Venom, Bumblebee, Kong: Skull Island, and Terminator: Dark Fate.
Granted, the situation with both ByteDance and WeChat is clearly still in its early stages, and there is no indication of what the effects of it will be until both executive orders going into effect on September 20th. Still, there is a chance that Trump's Tencent restrictions could complicate the releases of Top Gun: Maverick and Monster Hunter, once both films eventually hit theaters.
This isn't the only ripple effect that these Tencent restrictions could have, as the company also 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, and games like Fortnite, League of Legends, and PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds could ultimately be affected.
Trump's executive orders were fueled by concerns that TikTok is collecting data on American users that could be given to the Chinese government, thus creating a potential national security risk -- concerns that TikTok has continued to deny.
ComicBook.com will provide more information on the situation as it is revealed.
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