South Korean gaming giant Krafton and Chinese tech company Tencent are behind a new game called Battlegrounds Mobile India. The government in New Delhi is using its IT legislation powers to block the app, which is backed by the Chinese giant. New Delhi has been banning Chinese apps under section 69A of the Information Technology Act (IT Act) since 2020. The law allows government agencies to block content for national security and other reasons.
In the US, Google is removing PUBG Mobile from its app store, but the same is not happening in China. The Indian government has blocked the game for privacy reasons and because it shares user data with Chinese firms. According to a senior government official, the US government has the right to block content, but it has yet to do so. This latest ban could be a sign of censorship in China.
The game was blocked in China because it was hosting data on servers located in China and other countries. However, the company has since changed this policy. Rather than sending data to China’s servers, Battlegrounds Mobile India now sends data to servers in the US, Russia, and Hong Kong. Players must restart the game to log in again. In China, this is still illegal. However, this update has resolved the issue.
Although India has not publicly announced that it is blocking the game, the app has been removed from the Apple App Store and Alphabet’s Google Play store. The move was initiated by the non-profit organisation Prahar, which has requested an investigation into the Chinese influence on the game. However, the new PUBG app, BGMI, is controlled by Tencent in the background. It is similar to PUBG, which was banned in China. Standard players in India have responded to the ban in their social media accounts.
The government has been blocking Chinese apps since 2020 and has a legal right to ban them. The government’s latest move follows a dispute between India and China over the shared border. The two nations clashed over unapproved construction on May 5, 2020, and the ban was intended to serve as economic sanctions on the Chinese. The company plans to appeal the ban. The company is still offering New State Mobile, a separate app.
The game has been blocked in China after Krafton issued a patch to fix the issue. The company also said that the game would be released for Android devices in May 2021. In May, Krafton revealed that India accounted for a high percentage of its revenue. Its share price fell 4.9% to a low of $4.85 on Wednesday. The ban came as part of a ban on over 100 Chinese applications. Tencent Holdings is also a part of the company and owns a 13.5% stake in the firm.