(TMU) – The Trump administration recently announced that they will be forcing app stores to ban the popular TikTok and WeChat apps over concerns of Chinese spying. Now, two of the largest video games in the world, “Fortnite” and “League of Legends,” have come under scrutiny due to their connections with Chinese companies, according to Business Insider.
The companies behind these Games, Epic Games, and Riot Games, have received letters from the Committee on Foreign Investment in the US (CFIUS), inquiring about their relationships with the Chinese corporation Tencent.
Epic Games, the creator of Fortnite, is based in Cary, North Carolina, but Tencent owns a 40% stake in the company. Riot Games, the creator of League of Legends is entirely owned by Tencent. Tencent is the largest video game company in the world, and has significant investments in numerous other US-based video game companies, including Supercell, Ubisoft, Activision.
Tencent is also the owner of WeChat, which could have something to do with why the US government wants to look into all of its investments.
It is unclear what the US government has planned for Fortnite and League of Legends, but as of September 20th, WeChat and TikTok will no longer be available through Apple or Google’s app stores. If you already have the apps on your phone, you will be able to keep them, but they will no longer be able to receive updates.
It is now well-established that basically every app on your phone is harvesting your data, but the United States government and many of its allies have chosen to focus on TikTok specifically because it is owned by a company based in China, ByteDance.
TikTok has also received criticism for a feature that collects information from the “clipboards” of iPhone users. Last month, security experts warned that this feature could allow the app to collect sensitive information from your phone, such as email passwords or cryptocurrency wallets. In light of the controversy about how the feature works, the company has promised to stop collecting data from iPhone clipboards.
Additionally, TikTok insists that it operates independently of ByteDance, and promises that all of its data centers are located outside of China. The company says that US user data is stored in the United States, with a backup in Singapore. ByteDance has been working to make a deal with different US-based companies to handle all of their data for users in the states.
After a deal with Microsoft fell through earlier this month, the company has been in talks with Oracle, but the White House will need to approve the deal. Unfortunately, WeChat does not seem to have any options at all, and will likely be phased out in the US after it is removed from the app store.
In the case of Epic Games, they are entirely based in the US, and the potential of them sending personal data on users back to China is very low. However, League of Legends may run into serious problems with regulators because they are entirely owned by Tencent.
Typos, corrections and/or news tips? Email us at Contact@TheMindUnleashed.com