Social Media platforms TikTok and WeChat have recently been threatened with being banned in the United States and it’s now looking like there’s a possibility that popular video games such as Fortnite and League Of Legends could be banned too. But why is this all happening and is a ban actually possible? Let’s take a look.
Why Was TikTok and WeChat Banned?
First of all let’s try and clear things up for context as to why Fortnite could face a ban: It’s important to mention that TikTok and WeChat haven’t been completely banned just yet. However, these apps can no longer be downloaded in the United States. This means that users who already have the app downloaded will be allowed to keep it. (See update section down below for recent developments)
Second, the reason the apps are being banned is due to national security concerns. TikTok has an estimated 100 million users in the USA and security officials fear that users data collected by TikTok’s owner Bytedance is being handed to the Chinese government.
ByteDance has denied these accusations and is working on a deal with Oracle that could possibly allow TikTok downloads to be unbanned, Trump has approved of this deal. However, If this deal is not finalised by November 12th, the app could be banned in the US completely.
WeChat on the other hand has over a billion users all over the world and is owned by a Chinese conglomerate named Tencent. US security officials share the same fears about this conglomerate and how they collect US Citizens data and therefore Trump has had the app banned.
UPDATE: A judge has blocked the US attempt to ban downloads of WeChat, and a delay of one week (27th Sept) has been granted to TikTok due to a recent deal between Oracle and ByteDance receiving Trump’s blessing. However the issue of security and data with Tencent and ByteDance will likely still continue.
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Why Could Fortnite Be Banned?
So now we have some context, How does Fortnite and League of Legends come into this?
Well, Tencent (owners of WeChat) are heavily involved in the world of gaming, so much that they’re the largest gaming company in the whole world. Particularly, they own a 40% stake in Fortnite studio, Epic Games and completely own League Of Legends studio, Riot Games. On top of this, Tencent has also publicly invested in 16 other gaming firms (including a 5% stake in Ubisoft).
This is why Trump’s administration is concerned about games such as Fortnite and League of Legends. Fortnite reportedly has 350 million registered users and League of Legends recently reached 115 million monthly users. Both games are extremely popular across the US and Tencent have serious control in the studios.
Hence why Donald Trump’s administration is now reportedly looking into both Epic and Riot Games due to their connections with Tencent.
This means that if they find a reason to be concerned about the way these studios handle US data, Fortnite and League of Legends could also face some sort of ban in the United States.
Could Fortnite and League of Legends realistically get banned?
Now, this is where it all becomes pure speculation. Many are in disbelief that President Trump would actually sign an executive order to ban two of the most popular games in the world.
However, TikTok and WeChat are also some of the biggest social media platforms in the world and many doubted Trump would actually take any action against them due to their size and popularity, now we know he wasn’t bluffing.
Therefore, it’s definitely possible that Donald Trump’s administration could ban Fortnite and League of Legends in some form across the US.
How likely that possibility is? Well, that’s another discussion. Another possible and more positive outcome would be that Tencent would work with Trump’s administration to clear things up and avoid a ban.
So yes, Fortnite and League of Legends could possibly face some sort of ban in the US moving forward, how likely that scenario is? That’s up to you to decide…