The conflict between China and India continues to take applications ahead. If a few months ago the Indian government blocked a total of 59 applications, including TikTok and WeChat, now the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (IT) has just published a new list with 118 applications among which are titles such as ‘ PUBG Mobile ‘,’ Arena of Valor ‘and’ Rise of Kingdoms’ , two of the most popular games.
From the Indian government they state that “in view of the emerging nature of the threats” they have decided to block these applications since “in view of the available information, they are engaged in activities harmful to the sovereignty and integrity of India , the defense of the India, state security and public order”.
They claim that the Ministry has received “many complaints from various sources, including several complaints about the misuse of some mobile applications” on Android and iOS to “steal and secretly transmit user data in an unauthorized manner to servers that are outside of India. ” For the Ministry, this represents a threat affecting “the sovereignty and integrity of India”.
‘PUBG Mobile’ has been blocked
From the list of applications, which can be consulted in full in the statement issued by the government, the name of ‘PUBG Mobile’ draws attention. Daniel Ahamad, video game industry analyst at Niko Partners, explains on his Twitter profile that the ban on ‘PUBG Mobile’ is a “great blow to the video game industry,” since ‘PUBG Mobile’ was the most popular game. important in terms of downloads and income. In fact, it calls this block “as big” as the TikTok ban in June .
‘PUBG’ is a Korean IP, but ‘PUBG Mobile’ is a title developed by Tencent, which is a (huge) Chinese company . That would explain its ban. However, it is striking that other mobile titles signed by ‘Tencent’, such as ‘ Call of Duty: Mobile ‘, are not on the list. It should be noted that ‘COD Mobile’ is actually developed by TiMi Studios which, yes, is a subsidiary of Tencent.
To get an idea of the magnitude of this ban, Sensor Tower estimated in July 2020 that it had been downloaded more than 175 million times , 24% of total downloads. Other estimates speak of 50 million downloads and 33 million active users.
Since its launch, ‘PUBG Mobile’ has amassed $ 1.3 billion in revenue globally. Other known games that have been blocked are ‘AFK Arena’, ‘Rise of Kingdoms’ and ‘ Arena of Valor ‘, one of the main exponents of the MOBA genre on mobile.
More information | Government of India statement ( PDF )