PUBG Mobile has been banned in India, along with 117 other apps accused of various issues and slights against the country and its users.
The news comes as India and China ramp up tensions on the geopolitical stage, primarily over ownership of disputed regions on their shared border. Without going too deep into it, there’s a very long and complicated history between India and China, and it’s not going to cool off anytime soon. And with mounting pressure led by the United States against China—primarily based on claims that China is engaging mass suppression and spying via apps like TikTok—there’s a lot of money and political power at stake here.
China has been under increasingly vocal scrutiny for its treatment of ethnic minorities, particularly Uyghurs in the region Xinjiang, and this is just another volley in that ongoing fight.
According to the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, the mobile games have been banned under Section 69A of the Information Technology Act after being accused of engaging in actions prejudicial to the sovereignty and integrity of India, and its security. “This decision is a targeted move to ensure safety, security, and sovereignty of Indian cyberspace,” the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology said.
The full list of banned apps and games comprises 118 titles across various niches. There are video players, web browsers, payment portals, and games all scattered throughout the list. interestingly, various security apps have also been banned. Whether this is due to Chinese influence or these apps actually being fakes meant to steal user data—a real problem in global app markets—is unknown.
The banning of PUBG Mobile could have major implications for the popularity of mobile gaming in India. Gaming is growing within the country and PUBG Mobile has helped make it even more visible. PUBG Mobile Club Open Fall Spilt 2020 may see some serious problems running in the country for now. It’s unclear how long the ban will last, or if it will ever be lifted.