Trump administration reportedly looking at Tencent’s investments after scrutinizing TikTok

Trump administration reportedly looking at Tencent’s investments after scrutinizing TikTok

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Epic Games is part of Tencent, which is currently under review.

Angela Lang / CNET

At first it was ByteDance’s TikTok. Tencent Holdings is now to be scrutinized by the Trump administration.

The U.S. Foreign Investment Committee sent letters to companies Tencent has invested in, including Fourteen days According to a report in Bloomberg, manufacturer Epic Games and the developer of League of Legends, Riot Games, are asking about security protocols for the data of American users. CFIUS investigates national security concerns related to foreign acquisitions or investments by US companies.

The letters were sent when President Donald Trump was considering whether to ban the TikTok app from the United States about similar national security requirements.

White House, Treasury, Tencent and Riot Games officials did not respond to requests for comment. Epic Games declined to comment.


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The move marks the recent escalation in Trump’s efforts to challenge Chinese companies and investments in the US. Various administrative officials, including Trump, have claimed without evidence that some seemingly innocuous Chinese-owned apps, like the new hot social network TikTok, are national security threats.

It has also come at a time when Trump is escalating his struggles with Beijing in general ahead of the 2020 US presidential election. Trump has repeatedly blamed China for this Coronavirus Pandemic for example and has used racist terms when reference is made to COVID-19.

TikTok has become an international phenomenon in the past year and is more than attractive 2 billion downloads and over 100 million US users. In 2019 TikTok was downloaded more than Facebook and its companion messenger apps combined, according to Sensor Tower, making it one of the most successful Chinese apps ever launched in the US.

This popularity has also been scrutinized in part by the Trump administration.

In August, Trump said he would ban TikTok from the US unless it was sold to a US company and money paid to the US Treasury Department. In one (n Executive order issued this monthTrump said the user data TikTok collects “threatens to give the Chinese Communist Party access to Americans’ personal and proprietary information – potentially allowing China to track the locations of federal employees and contractors, dossiers of personal information for extortion.” create and conduct corporate espionage. “

He signed a similar ordinance banning WeChat, a messaging app widely used in China. At the time, the White House said the deal only covered WeChat from doing business in the US and did not affect its owner Tencent. With these inquiries from CFIUS, this now seems to be changing.

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