After the U.S. banned Tencent’s WeChat in August, the Trump administration is expanding its investigations to other companies linked to the Chinese technology giant. The United States Foreign Investment Committee (CFIUS) is questioning companies like Epic Games and Riot Games about their security protocols when handling American customers’ personal data.
The behavior of the American government was already expected, and should include all companies related to Tencent that operate in the country.
Tencent is the largest electronic gaming company in the world, owning Riot Games, developer of League Of Legends, and having a 40% stake in Epic Games, responsible for launching Fortnite. The company also controls other companies (or part of them), which are ahead of games like PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (PUB), Clash of Clans and Clash Royale.
The American government’s goal is to keep “national security” intact, preventing Chinese companies from sharing data from American citizens with their country’s government.
So CFIUS has the authority to review complete acquisitions, as well as investments from partner companies, whether officially communicated or not, and can recommend to President Donald Trump that he block or undo business.
Since 2018, CFIUS has been empowered to investigate transactions by foreign companies, involving partnership investments, if the processing of personal data of American citizens is among the activities of these companies.
Regarding the ban on WeChat, the scope of the restrictions on the application should be announced by the Department of Commerce starting this week.
At the moment, none of the companies, like the Treasury Department (responsible for CFIUS), has commented on the initiation of the investigations.