Late yesterday an Executive Order from the Trump Administration was issued effectively banning WeChat and its parent company, Tencent, from transactions with people within the US. Tencent owns, or partially owns, many gaming companies, which based on how the EO reads could have been affected as well.
Tencent is one of the largest companies in the world, and the giant owns or has stakes in multiple companies in the gaming industry, including the likes of Activision Blizzard, Epic Games, Riot Games Ubisoft and many more.
Trump may have just unintentionally technically tried to ban financial payments to Riot Games, Epic Games, League of Legends, Valorant, Fortnite, and half the gaming industry by clamping down on Tencent— Rod Breslau (@Slasher) August 7, 2020
The Executive Order handed down by the administration reads very broadly, effectively banning transactions within the United States in the next 45 days with Tencent:
"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. (a.k.a. Téngxùn Kòngg? Y?uxiàn G?ngs?), Shenzhen, China, or any subsidiary of that entity, as identified by the Secretary of Commerce (Secretary) under section 1(c) of this order."
If taken at face value, this EO is devastating to the gaming industry, given just how many companies Tencent has its hands in. However, in a report by the LA Times (as well as reports from others on Twitter), the administration attempted to clarify that this ban only affects WeChat and not any of Tencent's other holdings. It'll remain to be seen how this will all shake out, especially with regards to how the Executive Order is worded, and we'll update our story as more becomes known in the coming days.