President Donald Trump’s executive orders banning U.S. transactions with Chinese companies Tencent and ByteDance could have ripple effects in the sports industry. Initial reports out of the White House suggest the ban is targeted toward the ByteDance-owned TikTok and Tencent’s WeChat app. Microsoft and Twitter are both in discussions to acquire TikTok’s U.S. operations — valued at up to $40 billion.
A TikTok ban has its own sports implications, but Tencent’s could hit both traditional sports and esports. Tencent is the main broadcast pipeline to the 1.4 billion Chinese consumers for U.S. sports leagues.
It has more than a billion dollars in rights deals with MLB, the NFL, the NHL and the NBA. Between 10% and 20% of the NBA’s global revenue comes from China, with its NBA China subsidiary worth up to $4 billion.
— 100% of Riot Games
— 40% of Epic Games
— Stakes in Blizzard, Ubisoft and Platinum Games