You might not lose the ability to play your favorite games — and purchase things in them — but President Trump’s executive order against Tencent is still having some effects on the company. Notably, it’s being reported that the company lost $34.6 billion in market value overnight, and it could still affect American companies, even those who aren’t involved in video games.
Newsweek is reporting that the order will only affect WeChat, and not the vast number of other companies Tencent is involved in. So don’t worry, you’ll still be able to play League of Legends (Riot is 100% owned by Tencent) and Fortnite (Epic Games is 40% owned by Tencent), as well as numerous other companies that Tencent has a smaller piece of (Grinding Gear Games, Activision-Blizzard, and so on).
If the XO only targets WeChat, then what’s the problem? WeChat has over a billion global users, who use it for all sorts of things — not just social media. As one analyst predicts, the ban “has potential to take a cleaver to US-China links – at a corporate and personal level” by forbidding users in China from using WeChat to conduct transactions with American companies located there. And there are a lot of American companies doing business in China. You can debate whether that’s a good thing or a bad thing and the consequences of it, but it’s unlikely that big American companies aren’t going to try and push back on this.
So most Americans might not have much to worry about, but — unsurprisingly — Donald Trump has unleashed what’s likely to be an unexpected firestorm of controversy due to his, and others’, presence on social media. This time, however, the opposition won’t be some marginalized groups but large corporations with plenty at stake, and the resources to put up a fight. As for me, I’m just looking forward to having a president who won’t go ballistic and try to tank a segment of the economy when someone says mean things to him.