India bans PUBG Mobile and over 100 more China-related apps amid growing tensions

India's Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology recently made a major move in banning over a hundred apps in relation to China, including PUBG Mobile.

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In the ongoing and troubling times overseas, China and India have been at each other’s throats for some time. While much of it has been political and military confrontation, a new move from India’s government has brought the mobile market into the conflict. PUBG Mobile, a number of other Tencent-published games, and over 100 more apps with relation to China have officially been banned in the nation of India.

The Indian Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology released its decision in a press release put out on September 2, 2020. The press release lists a number of Chinese-related apps that are now banned in the country due to the nature of these apps “stealing and surreptitiously transmitting users’ data in an unauthorized manner to servers which have locations outside India.”

Among the apps listed in the 118-item list are PUBG Mobile, Chess Rush, Arena of Valor, and file-hosting cloud storage service Tencent Weiyun. Further major Chinese mobile game publishers affected are NetEase (MARVEL Super War, Knives Out) and Lillith Games (AFK Arena) which also had a number of banned apps on the list. This move also follows India’s previous banning of many more apps, including TikTok, according to TechCrunch.

Tencent, Lilith Games, and NetEase (makers of the above MARVEL Super War) had a notable collection of games among the list of banned apps in India.
Tencent, Lilith Games, and NetEase (makers of the above MARVEL Super War) had a notable collection of games among the list of banned apps in India.

The press release would go on lay out further reasoning for the effort behind the banning of these various apps in relation to cybersecurity.

“The compilation of these data, its mining and profiling by elements hostile to national security and defense 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 press release continues. “In the interest of sovereignty and integrity of India, defence of India and security of the State. And using the sovereign powers, the Government of India has decided to block the usage of certain Apps, used in both mobile and non-mobile Internet enabled devices. These apps are listed in the attached appendix.”

Undoubtedly this will be troubling for a number of esport scenes in the Indian region, where mobile gaming competitive scenes are rather prevalent. As pointed out by esports consultant Rod “Slasher” Breslau, both Team SoloMid and Fnatic have teams in India that specialized in PUBG Mobile and many more organizations in the area are likely to be affected. While the concern over data access, transmission, and usage has been an ongoing and heated topic throughout the world (especially in regards to many of the companies listed above), it would also seem that mobile esports is about to suffer a major blow due to this recent ban.

Stay tuned for further information and updates as we await the outcome and ongoing effects of India’s latest ban on Chinese mobile apps.

News Editor

TJ Denzer is a player with a passion for games that has dominated a lifetime. When he's not handing out beatdowns in the latest fighting games, exploring video game history, or playing through RPGs with his partner, he's searching for new food and drinks in the constant pursuit of good times with good people inside and outside the South Texas area. You can also find him on Twitter @JohnnyChugs.

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