Tencent gaming sites merger blocked by China antitrust regulator

Tencent gaming sites merger blocked by China antitrust regulator

China’s financial regulator has blocked a merger of the nation’s two largest video game live-streaming sites planned by tech giant Tencent over antitrust concerns, it said Saturday, 10 July.

Beijing has launched a major crackdown on the biggest players in its tech sector after years of runaway growth and lax regulation, partly due to fears over their growing influence and the security of troves of sensitive consumer data.

“If Huya and Douyu merged, that would … further strengthen Tencent’s dominant position in the video game live-streaming market,” Beijing’s State Administration for Market Regulation (SAMR) said in an online statement.

Analysts have estimated the planned merger of live-streaming services Huya and Douyu could have brought the combined platforms’ domestic market share to between 80% to 90%.

The blocked merger comes shortly after regulators abruptly announced a cybersecurity review into ride-hailing app Didi Chuxing on the heels of a US IPO that raised US$4.4 billion.

Plans for the deal were initially announced by Tencent last October, but SAYMR said it would undertake an antitrust review into the merger in December.

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