US Government Investigating Epic Games, Riot Games Due To Tencent

The White House

Latest News

US Government Investigating Epic Games, Riot Games Due To Tencent

September 17, 2020

By: Don Parsons

 
 

Following the U.S. Government forcing the sale of Tik Tok from owner ByteDance, and the past banning of WeChat and TikTok prior to that among other activities against Chinese companies, it appears that the U.S. Government isn't done quite yet.

In a report from Bloomberg, the Committee on Foreign Investment has sent letters to various companies invested in by Chinese corpoations, including Epic Games, Riot Games about their security protocols on handling American citizen personal data. Previously, the Foreign Investment committee had been focused on financial, health, and similar information, but it has been expending what data it looks at. This is coupled with a 2018 regulatory change that increased the committee's power by giving them jurisdiction over purchases that for less than a controlling stake if the companies maintain or collect sensitive information on Americans. This included the ability to retroactively make rulings on deals that were not previously under their jurisdiction.

Tencent is one of the company's that has triggered the committee to send out letters and it could have a big impact on the gaming sphere. Tencent is invested in a number of gaming company's in America and beyond. The Bloomberg report only names Epic Games (which Tencent has a 40% stake in), and Riot Games, who it completely owns. If you aren't familiar with them, Epic Games is known for Fortnite, Unreal Engine, and the Epic Games Store, while Riot Games is known for League of Legends, and Valorant.

Other companies that could be impacted for it could be Glu Mobile (15%ish owned by Tencent), Activision Blizzard (5% owned by Tencent), and Discord (an unknown amount as part of a funding round).

 
 

Under President Trump, the Committee on Foreign Investment has been about twice as active as it was under President Obama. In the first three years of the Trump Presidency, they opened an average of 147 investigations a year, compared to 73 a year in the final two years of the Obama presidency. While we don't have any numbers for 2020, given the executive order earlier this year and the President's focus on China it appears likely to be a large number. 

Don Parsons
News Editor

I've been a gamer for years of various types starting with the Sega Genesis and Shining Force when I was young. If I'm not playing video games, I'm often roleplaying, reading, writing, or pondering things brought up by speculative fiction.

From the Web

Comments