The Trump administration is reportedly asking US games companies who have received investment from Tencent to share information about their data security protocols.
The news comes from a Bloomberg report, where sources familiar with the matter claim that Epic Games and Riot Games have both received letters from the Committee on Foreign Investment in the US (CFIUS).
The CFIUS investigates potential national security risks coming from foreign business acquiring of investing in US companies. In the past this has meant examining foreign access to American natural resources, or military secrets, though in recent years the focus has moved to investigating foreign access to US customer data.
“When you’re talking about massive amounts of data, there’s probably something for the committee to look at,” former Treasury Department Deputy Assistant Secretary for Investment Security Aimen Mir said to Bloomberg. “The question then becomes is the risk high enough that it actually warrants forcing deals apart?”
Tencent owns Riot Games entirely, while it has a 40 per cent stake in Epic Games.
The move comes as the US government increases its scrutiny into the TikTok and WeChat apps, the latter of which is owned by Tencent. President Trump signed an executive order back in August banning the apps, though this order did not affect Tencent’s gaming businesses.