Donald Trump’s crusade against Chinese companies that have access to the personal data of Americans continues. After the veto of Huawei and the ban this Sunday to download TikTok and WeChat in the United States (only TikTok has 100 million users in the country), a Bloomberg report ensures that the United States government is investigating Epic Games and Riot Games.
It is a different case because both are North American companies, but they are wholly or partially owned by the Chinese giant Tencent. Specifically, Tencent owns 40% of Epic Games and 100% of Riot Games.
Epic Games is the creator of Fortnite and the Unreal Engine graphics engine, as well as the Epic Games Store PC game store. Riot Games is the developer of the popular multiplayer game League of Legends and the recent hit Valorant.
Tencent is one of the largest Chinese technology companies . She owns WeChat, which the Trump administration just banned, but she also owns shares in numerous video game companies around the world. Not only does she own Riot and own 40% of Epic Games. It is also the owner of Funcom, owns 83% of Supercell, and has at least 5% of Ubisoft, Activision Blizzard, Sumo Digital or Paradox. Even 5% Tesla.
According to the report, the United States government will carry out an inspection of the security protocols of Epic Games and Riot Games , as well as other companies in which Tencent has shares, to assess whether the data of American citizens is accessed. by the Chinese government.
When asked about the issue a year ago, Epic Games founder and CEO Tim Sweeney said that ” I am the majority shareholder of Epic Games, and have been since 1991. We now have several outside investors. Tencent is the greatest. All Epic investors are our friends and partners. No one can dictate decisions to Epic. No one has access to Epic’s customer data. “
If Tim Sweeney’s claims are correct, Epic Games should have no problem with the US government. Its blocking would be a catastrophe for the world of video games: Fortnite is one of the most played titles in the world, and the Unreal Engine is used by thousands of companies to create their games.
More problematic seems the situation of Riot Games, a company that owns 100% Tencent. So far their representatives have not made any statements.