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Why is China trying to game the gamers?

This week, the market value of Tencent, China's biggest video game company, nosedived after a state media outlet suggested that online gaming was as addictive and destructive as opium. Tencent immediately pledged to cap the number of hours people can play, and to keep minors off its platforms.

It's the latest example of a months-long crackdown on major Chinese technology firms that until recently were viewed as some of the world's most powerful and successful companies, as well as a source of national pride. Beijing's about-face on its own tech titans could have big implications for China, and beyond.

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Will China's tech sector be held back?

Ian Bremmer's Quick Take:

Hi everybody, Ian Bremmer here, and a happy post-4th of July. Spending a couple of days in Nantucket, back to New York in relatively short order. But a Quick Take to kick off your shortened week.

And I thought I would talk a little bit about what's happening between the Chinese and the Americans on tech. In particular, I think it's quite important that the Chinese government and their regulatory authority on cyberspace, the Cyberspace Administration of China, the CAC, has been focusing a cybersecurity probe on Chinese companies that have recently listed in the United States. It started last Friday with Didi, which is the leader for Chinese ride hailing. So it's basically like Uber or Lyft in China, $4 billion IPO in New York just a couple of days before the Chinese government announced that they were going to engage in serious scrutiny and regulation of the company. Their stock value went down like 20% almost immediately on the back of that.

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What We're Watching: Qatar-Saudi embrace, Jack Ma's whereabouts, Egyptian incompetence

Qatar blockade lifted: A bitter dispute between Gulf rivals Saudi Arabia and Qatar has begun to ease after Qatar's Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani flew to Saudi Arabia for the Gulf Cooperation Council summit and was warmly embraced by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, known as MBS. The immediate cause of the détente was Riyadh's decision to lift a years-long land and air blockade that significantly disrupted Qatar's economic activity and led to a bitter standoff in the Gulf. (The Saudis, along with Egypt, Bahrain, and the UAE launched a joint blockade against Qatar in 2017, citing its support for the Muslim Brotherhood, and regional foes Iran and Turkey.) It's unclear what concessions Qatar made in exchange for beginning the normalization process, though President Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner, a close friend of MBS, has been lobbying for the move for some time. Qatar has long denied claims that it supports Islamic extremist groups and rebuffed demands like terminating Turkey's military presence within its borders. As for the timing for the rapprochement, it could reflect a feeling that increased GCC cooperation is needed as the incoming Biden administration in the US is expected to promptly re-engage in talks with Iran.

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