The Indian government effectively banned PUBG Mobile along with 117 other Chinese apps recently. The battle royale game from Chinese developers Tencent Games was in the new list of 118 mobile apps that the governemnt announced as effectively banned from India. In a previous ban wave 47 Chinese apps were banned and 250 more including PUBG Mobile were placed under review. Following through on this ban, Google and Apple have removed the game from the Play Store and the App Store respectively. Those that have previously downloaded the game can see it in the list, while other can’t even after searching. Also Read - PUBG Mobile could return soon with Jio Platforms, talks yet to finalize
The Ministry of IT and technology’s decision to remove the apps that originated in China on the grounds of lapses of data privacy. The previous list of banned apps included cloned versions of the 59 apps that India had earlier banned, which included popular names like TikTok, ShareIT, WeChat, among others. The new list has other games and also includes the PUBG Mobile Lite and Arena of Valor which are from Tencent Games as well. Surprisingly Call of Duty Mobile which has also been developed by Tencent Games has not been banned. Also Read - PUBG Mobile: Grandson uses Rs 2.3 lakh for in-game purchases
There has been a hue and cry over PUBG Mobile and its adverse effects in India for a while now. It was banned from schools in the state of Gujarat and even in a tech college. But this is the first time a pan-India ban of the game has come into effect. The neighboring countries of Nepal and Pakistan have imposed bans on the game in the past. It is worth noting that users with PUBG Mobile installed can still play the game. Also Read - PUBG Corp cuts ties with Tencent Games in India after PUBG Mobile ban
Recently, US President Donald Trump announced the ban of TikTok and WeChat in the country. While TikTok is another story altogether, banning WeChat and in turn its parent company Tencent would have a cascading result. Banning Tencent from the US also means that games like PUBG Mobile and Call of Duty: Mobile are also in jeopardy there. This could result in the banning of these two popular games there as well.
BGR India has reached out to PUBG Mobile and Tencent Games for a statement but they are yet to revert back. The story will be updated as soon as we hear something back.