Forget WeChat and TikTok. China’s hold on the global videogaming market is the most pressing security vulnerability when it comes to Chinese consumer tech products.
Over the past 10 years, Chinese tech giant Tencent has invested in or outright acquired many of the world’s largest videogame companies, including Activision Blizzard, “League of Legends” maker Riot Games, Epic Games (“Fortnite”), Supercell (“Clash of Clans”) and the communications platform Discord. Americans spend far more time on Chinese-backed videogames than on TikTok and WeChat. While Chinese companies had been content to invest in established Western studios, Chinese developers are now creating enormous hits like “Genshin Impact”—the biggest ever global launch of a Chinese-made title.
Beijing’s access to millions of gamers’ computers gives its spies an unrivaled opportunity to use games to conduct intelligence operations.
Are Chinese videogames really a threat to U.S. national security? Yes—China is already using games to spread its soft power and collect data on U.S. citizens, as the current administration has highlighted. More insidiously, Beijing’s access to millions of gamers’ computers gives its spies an unrivaled opportunity to use games to conduct intelligence operations.
Read the full article in The Wall Street Journal.
More from CNAS
VideoSenators grill social media giants over election handling
Kara Frederick, fellow at the Center for a New American Security, provides key takeaways from Facebook, Twitter CEO testimony. Watch the full interview on Fox and Friends Fir...
By Kara Frederick
ReportsDefense Technology Strategy
The DoD needs a systematic approach—a technology strategy—for how to prioritize technology investments....
By Paul Scharre & Ainikki Riikonen
VideoIs TikTok a Harmless App or a Threat To U.S. Security?
The popular social media platform TikTok has so far avoided being banned by the Trump administration. But until it addresses concerns over its national security risks, its fut...
By Kara Frederick
CommentarySharper: The Next Four Years
America will face a range of national security challenges over the next four years. From sustaining military deterrence to bolstering the nation's economic leadership and more...
By Chris Estep & Cole Stevens