President Donald Trump signed executive orders that ban transactions with certain Chinese companies, such as Tencent and ByteDance. However, they won’t affect any video game companies. This clarification comes to us from LA Times Tech reporter Sam Dean.
Trump Ban Won’t Affect Riot Games, Epic Games
“Video game companies owned by Tencent will NOT be affected by this executive order! White House official confirmed to the LA Times that the EO only blocks transactions related to WeChat. So Riot Games (League of Legends), Epic Games (Fortnite), et al are safe,” Dean wrote on Twitter. “This was pretty much impossible to tell from the EO itself,” he added later.
Tencent acquired a 40% stake of Epic Games for $330 million back in 2012. They also own Riot Games outright. Epic Games is not only the creator of Fortnite, but also the Epic Games Store, as well as Unreal Engine 4. Similarly, besides League Of Legends, Riot Games also made the recently release Valorant. Both of these titles are hugely popular in the esports scene.
Executive Order Specifically Targets TikTok And WeChat
As per a report from the Associated Press, Trump’s original executive orders seemed to be a blanket ban on any transactions with the Chinese owners of TikTok (ByteDance) and WeChat (Tencent). However, this clarification seems like the ban on transactions with Tencent is regarding WeChat specifically.
The Associated Press also reports that these executive orders will go into effect 45 days from now. During this period, United States Department Of Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross will “define the banned dealings”.
President Trump Had Spoken Of Banning TikTok Recently
These bans shouldn’t be a huge surprise to anyone. President Trump had already signalled his intentions to ban TikTok last Friday, on August 1, 2020. “As far as TikTok is concerned, we’re banning them from the United States,” Trump said to reporters while aboard Air Force One, according to CNN.
He had seemingly then given TikTok until September 15, 2020, to find a buyer based in the US. On August 2, 2020, Microsoft had released a blog post where they confirmed that they are in talks to do exactly that. It is unclear how this executive order affects those dealings, though.