Jul 12, 2021 - Technology

China blocks merger of gaming giants in latest tech crackdown

Game controllers

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Chinese antitrust regulators blocked the proposed $5.3 billion merger of Huya (NYSE: NUYA) and DouYu (Nasdaq: DOYU), two game streaming companies backed by Tencent.

Why it matters: This reflects how China's crackdown on local tech giants is expanding well beyond data privacy and offshore listings. It's also a big win for Amazon's Twitch, which could have faced a viable challenge from the combined Huya/DouYu.

Also: Reuters reports that Chinese regulators will force Tencent to give up exclusive rights to music labels, while WSJ reports that TikTok owner ByteDance shelved IPO plans in March after regulators raised data security concerns.

Bottom line: "It's a sign that regulators will no longer tolerate the kind of transactions that created giants such as food-delivery behemoth Meituan. For Tencent boss Pony Ma, a bigger problem may be revisiting past acquisitions." — Robyn Mak, Breakingviews

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