TikTok could be banned in the US in just 45 days - Dexerto
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TikTok could be banned in the US in just 45 days

Published: 7/Aug/2020 3:48 Updated: 7/Aug/2020 9:07

by Andrew Amos

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TikTok could be banned on September 20 in the US after President Donald Trump has signed an Executive Order on August 6 prohibiting Chinese tech giants Bytedance and Tencent from doing business in the country.

TikTok could be forced to close down operations in the U.S. in just 45 days, unless parent company Bytedance manages to sell its American arm.

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A new executive order handed down by President Donald Trump has banned any transactions with Bytedance, the owners of TikTok, starting on September 20. It comes after he threatened to ban TikTok earlier this week over national security concerns.

Tiktok on phone
Pixabay
TikTok could be banned in the United States on September 20.

“TikTok automatically captures vast swaths of information from its users, including Internet and other network activity information such as location data and browsing and search histories,” the order reads.

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Trump’s action on TikTok is not the first country taking steps to ban the Chinese-owned app from operating in certain countries. India banned the app earlier in July, while other nations have also been considering the move.

The executive order will stop TikTok’s owners, Bytedance, from doing “any transaction by any person, or with respect to any property, subject to the jurisdiction of the United States.” This includes in-app purchases, as well as downloading programs as a whole.

Bytedance is currently in the process of selling TikTok’s U.S. operations. Microsoft are the front-runners to purchase the app, which has over 100 million users in the States alone. The sale is expected to go through by September 15.

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Tencent ban could have huge impacts on gaming industry

Trump also signed a second executive order on August 6 prohibiting Tencent from doing business in the States as well.

Tencent has numerous stakes across the gaming industry. They are 100% owners of Riot Games, makers of League of Legends and Valorant, as well as majority owners of mobile gaming giant Supercell.

League of Legends characters standing on Summoner's Rift
Riot Games
League of Legends could be blocked in the U.S., depending on the scope of Trump’s executive order.

They have minority shares in almost every major gaming company ⁠— from Ubisoft (5%) to Epic Games (40%), Bluehole (PUBG Corp, 11.5%) to Blizzard (5%), and dozens of others.

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The wording of the executive order does leave out the majority of Tencent businesses, only specifically referring to popular messaging service WeChat. However, it’s unclear specifically how the action could affect the gaming industry as a whole.

If the blanket ban does apply to developers like Riot and Blizzard, Tencent will need to offload their U.S. operations before September 20. If they do not, storefronts like the Blizzard store, the Epic Games Launcher, or Riot’s in-game shops across its four titles could be forced to close.

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The executive order will come into effect on September 20, unless challenged by Bytedance or Tencent earlier.

August 6 Update (8:30pm PT): According to a report by LA Times’ Sam Dean, video game companies owned by Tencent will not be affected by the executive order.

This means Riot Games, Epic Games, and more developers will be able to continue operating in the U.S. regardless of the order. WeChat is the only app being targeted.

FIFA

EA removes FIFA 21 ad selling loot boxes to children after backlash

Published: 1/Oct/2020 5:30 Updated: 1/Oct/2020 5:47

by Bill Cooney

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September 30 update (9:30pm PT): EA has pulled the advertisement from all toy magazines, including the one shown in Smyths, promoting buying FIFA points in the lead-up to FIFA 21.

They have also apologized for not upholding their “responsibility we take for the experience of our younger players.”

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“We take very seriously the responsibilities we have when marketing EA games and experiences in channels seen by children,” they told Eurogamer in a statement.

Earlier: EA is under fire after users on the internet posted pictures of advertisements for FIFA 21 in-game purchases placed inside a children’s toy magazine.

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It’s that time of year again, the air is getting cooler, the holidays are fast approaching, and there’s a new FIFA game about to come out on October 6.

In the year 2020 it’s not strange at all to see ads for video games amongst other kinds of toys in your usual holiday catalogs (if you don’t already do all your shopping online). However ads for in-game transactions and not the games themselves are becoming more and more common, and people don’t seem to be too thrilled with the idea.

On Sept. 26 A Twitter account by the name of AllFifamistakes posted a picture from one of the latest in-store magazines for UK company Smyths Toys. The ad, for FIFA’s popular Ultimate Team mode, lists four steps for players to play FUT, with the second being “use FIFA points to open packs.”

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As any good FUT player knows, FIFA Points are the digital currency that is used specifically for that mode to unlock player packs, which are basically random loot boxes containing player cards and other upgrades.

Enough arguments have been made for and against loot boxes being a form of gambling than we could list in a series of articles, but they are one of the most unpopular features in modern-day gaming, and seen as a way for companies to keep cashing in on consumers after the fork out the sticker price just to play the game.

The fact that it’s in a toy magazine where a kid will most likely see it and bother his or her parent about buying them FIFA Points for some player packs is what seems to have ticked most people off, with some accusing EA of promoting gambling to their younger fans. However, this isn’t even the first FIFA game to employ such marketing tactics.

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As you can see above, EA SPORTS has been advertising using FIFA Points to open packs as part of their “four steps to FUT success” for at least a year now, with the exact same wording appearing on adverts for FIFA 20 back around holiday season 2019.

Like gambling itself, it doesn’t seem as though loot boxes will be going away any time soon no matter how unpopular they may be, but people obviously aren’t too fond of ads for them being waved under kids’ noses.

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