PUBG Mobile has been banned in India, along with over 100 other mobile apps. The Indian government has deemed these apps “…prejudicial to the sovereignty and integrity of India, Defence of India, Security of State and Public Order…” This places India on a long list of countries that have places restrictions on PUBG, including Iraq, Nepal, Jordan, and Pakistan back in July.
Despite being one of the most popular esports in India, PUBG Mobile was reportedly the subject of many complaints to The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology. The game was included in a round-up of apps that were alleged to be “…stealing and surreptitiously transmitting users’ data in an unauthorized manner to servers which have locations outside India.” The country has a total of over 175 million downloads throughout the game’s lifespan; more than other countries. These numbers were only growing, with PUBG Mobile esports initiatives from organizations like Fnatic and TSM, who had been recruiting rosters from India.
The Penguin Esports Live Assistant app, ran by PUBG developer Tencent, was also among those banned by the Indian government. Prior to these bans, Tencent had established a regional esports initiative specifically for India that feasibly can no longer continue. As a title, PUBG won’t really take a big hit in the grand scheme of things, having already grossed $1.3 billion globally. For Indian esports, however, the ban will really stunt the growth and opportunity for many professional PUBG players in India. The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology defended the bans and explained the rationale behind them in their press release, saying “This move will safeguard the interests of crores of Indian mobile and internet users. This decision is a targeted move to ensure safety, security, and sovereignty of Indian cyberspace.”
The full list of banned apps is available here.