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Tencent will open its Asia hub in Singapore following India, US ban

They’re betting on ASEAN

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Tencent Singapore

Chinese gaming, payment, and communication giant Tencent has announced it will pen a new office in Singapore. It will serve as the company’s regional hub for Southeast Asia. Rivals like Alibaba and ByteDance have also selected Singapore as their regional hub.

Tencent already has offices in Malaysia, Thailand, and Indonesia. With a centrally located Singapore office, the company can seamlessly manage all ASEAN operations.

The announcement also proves Tencent’s long-term ambitions and thirst for growth. It has made a massive investment in developing markets and despite the ongoing political instability between the US and China, it’s bullish about its future prospects.

Games like Arena of Valor, PUBG Mobile, Call of Duty: Mobile, CrossFire, and more rule the gaming market of Asia. All these titles are directly or indirectly managed or distributed by Tencent via a complex web of companies and subsidiaries.

“The Singapore office will also enable us to capture potential from the rapid pace of digitization and meet the demand for internet-based services and solutions in Singapore,” the company said in a statement.

Chinese companies are also facing hostility in the US and have shifted their focus in the recent future. The high-stakes sale of TikTok’s US operations and the ban on Huawei has severely hit Chinese investors and they’re reluctant of a commitment right now.

TikTok’s parent ByteDance is also planning to make Singapore its hub for the Asian region. According to a report, the company could spend billions and add hundreds of jobs over the next three years. The company has also applied for a digital banking license.

Enterprise

The US has temporarily halted the TikTok and WeChat ban

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Late last week, Trump finally brought the hammer down on TikTok and WeChat. Supposedly, by Sunday, both Apple and Google should have pulled the platforms from their respective app stores. However, in a late ruling, that’s not happening anymore. As of late Sunday afternoon, the United States has temporarily halted the TikTok and WeChat ban.

In San Francisco, a US Magistrate Judge Laurel Beeler has ruled in favor of TikTok and WeChat. According to Reuters, the judge found “serious questions going to the merits of the First Amendment [or right to free speech] claim.” Further, the ruling states that the bans will not alleviate the government’s cybersecurity concerns at all. If anything, it will only impede the communication between private individuals using the platform.

Yesterday, TikTok officially filed a lawsuit against the Trump administration, citing violations in both the right to free speech and due process. Now, the judge’s ruling effectively blocked the ban from taking place. Of note, however, the ruling covers only WeChat.

On the TikTok side of things, the US Commerce Department temporarily halted the order of its own accord. Besides the lawsuit against the administration, TikTok is also in the middle of a finalized business deal with Oracle (whom Trump gave a blessing to).

Though both bans are on hold, the platforms’ futures are still up in the air. With a finalized buyer already, TikTok is looking to form a separate, American-owned corporation, TikTok Global, to continue its operations in the country. Meanwhile, WeChat is still figuring future plans on its own. Trump has also started to question WeChat’s owner Tencent in its other businesses.

SEE ALSO: China would rather shut TikTok down than sell it

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Enterprise

TikTok is suing Trump

Citing violation of free speech and due process

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Late last week, President Donald Trump issued a final directive against TikTok’s Chinese operations in the United States. Starting late Sunday, Apple and Google will forcibly pull the popular platform out of their respective app stores. TikTok doesn’t have much recourse. To stave off the potential shutdown, TikTok is suing Trump.

Reported by The Wall Street Journal, ByteDance filed an eleventh-hour lawsuit against the administration for violating the right to free speech. Further, the company claims the lack of due process in the impending ban.

Over the past two months, Trump fired off a vicious crusade against TikTok. Back in August, his administration issued a deadline for the platform to either leave the country or find an American buyer.

Since then, Oracle has emerged as the winner for TikTok’s US operations. Over the weekend, Trump has also “given the deal [his] blessing,” as reported by Reuters. With the deal, Oracle will create a new corporation, named TikTok Global, for the platform’s US operations. The upcoming company will recruit American directors and a security consultant on the board.

That said, TikTok’s fate is still up in the air. Whereas TikTok’s strategy will delay the ban, Trump’s erratic moves will force the platform to quickly shift to American control. More news will likely surface after the weekend.

SEE ALSO: China would rather shut TikTok down than sell it

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Enterprise

Trump is now targeting Tencent Games

Investigating Epic Games and Riot Games

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Today, the Trump administration finally administered a coup de grâce against TikTok and WeChat. The government has effectively blocked the popular platforms from app stores nationwide. Now, they are setting their sights on another target. Trump is now targeting Tencent Games.

According to Bloomberg, the Trump administration has officially asked League of Legends’s Riot Studios and Fortnite’s Epic Games for their ties to Tencent Games. Notably, the Chinese Tencent Games owns Riot Games, plus a minority stake in Epic Games.

The Committee on Foreign Investment inquired “about their security protocols in handling Americans’ personal data.” Both League of Legends and Fortnite are still two of the most popular multiplayer games today. Naturally, millions of Americans play these games every day.

Of course, it’s no surprise that the American government is now pursuing Tencent Games for their alleged Chinese ties. WeChat’s ban, in fact, stems from its ties to Tencent. At the time of WeChat’s first involvement in the ongoing ban, pundits also speculated on the eventual attack against Tencent’s other properties. Now, it’s materializing.

At this point, no one knows if Trump’s latest attack will go anywhere. The administration is likely still handling the successful attack against TikTok and WeChat.

SEE ALSO: Oracle wins bid for TikTok’s US operations

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