In a swift move on 29th June, the Indian government issued ban notice on 59 Chinese apps. The decision of ban in India came amidst growing border skirmishes resulting in a lack of trust with China. Though appeal for a complete embargo on Chinese apps had been getting vociferous for some time, the final approval came yesterday late night. The grounds cited were privacy and security concerns behind the step against 59-Chinese apps.
The ban in India of Chinese apps has been slapped under Section 69A of the IT Act read with relevant provisions of the IT (Procedure and Safeguards for Blocking of Access of Information by Public) Rules 2009.
The decision invoked fear amongst PUBG fans leaving them high and dry because PUBG Mobile has Chinese links. Its famous Battle Royale game is developed and marketed by Chinese firm Tencent Holdings. But the list of apps banned in India dodged the name of PUBG for the time being.
PUBG has managed to escape the government’s 59-app list but the fear is far from over. Let us have a look at the possible reasons why the Chicken Dinner game couldn’t make it to the list while TikTok got evicted.
Is PUBG a threat to security of India?
As per the statement issued, Indian intelligence agencies have red-flagged only those apps which had substantial proofs of impinging the privacy of users, They were collecting data and a threat to the security of the country. PUBG being a Chinese app must also have gone through the screening procedure but likely to have passed the security checklist of agencies. It is highly probable that highly addictive PUBG will not be a security risk.
“The compilation of these data, its mining and profiling by elements hostile to national security and defence of India, which ultimately impinges upon the sovereignty and integrity of India, is a matter of very deep and immediate concern which requires emergency measures,” the statement issued by the ministry read.
Is PUBG Mobile Chinese owned app?
PUBG Mobile is the mobile version of multiplayer online battle royale game PUBG. Though PUBG version is completely owned by South Korean video game company Bluehole subsidiary PUBG Corporation, PUBG Mobile is made by Shenzhen-based Tencent Games. The joint ownership status has resulted in some confusion. It is speculated that the flavour of South Korea could be one of the reason for it not getting banned in India.
PUBG is the brainchild of Bluehole, a South Korean organisation. In China, the marketing was taken up by Tencent, a Chinese business house which entered into a partnership with Bluehole. As the game gained popularity, Tencent started marketing and handling a chunk of distribution in the other regions of the world. In India, the PUBG is distributed under Tencent Holdings banner.
Till the time PUBG does not get banned, if it does in future, PUBG’s fans can continue to enjoy chicken dinner. There are slim hopes of PUBG Mobile making it to the second list of banned in India in the near future. Till then, happy gaming!