2 years after PUBG ban, is Battlegrounds Mobile also blocked in India?
Battleground Mobile India, which has more than 100 million users in India, is developed by South Korean gaming giant Krafton which had developed PUBG.
Google on Thursday blocked access to Battlegrounds Mobile India (BGM), stating that India had ordered that the same be blocked resulting in it being removed from the Play Store, Reuters reported.
This comes two years after PlayerUnknown’s BattleGrounds (PUBG), a multiplayer battle game was banned in India after reports emerged that thesy were ‘stealing and surreptitiously transmitting users' data' in an unauthorised manner. “Government blocks 118 mobile apps which are prejudicial to sovereignty and integrity of India, defence of India, security of state and public order,” the government had said in a statement in 2020.
The game, which has more than 100 million users in India, is developed by South Korean gaming giant Krafton which had developed PUBG.
The development resulted in Krafton shares slumping to more than nine per cent, Reuters report said.
"On receipt of the order, following established process, we have notified the affected developer and have blocked access to the app," a Google spokesperson said.
Battleground Mobile India was also unavailable on Apple's App store, the reason being unclear.
A Krafton spokesperson said the developer was talking to relevant authorities and companies to figure out the exact situation regarding the suspension in the two major app stores in India.
Local representatives of Apple and India's IT ministry did not immediately respond to requests for comment outside regular business hours.
A source with direct knowledge of the matter said Google had received the government takedown order in the last 24 hours.
India cited security risks when banning PUBG but the move was widely seen as fallout from deteriorating business ties with China. At the time, China's Tencent held the publishing rights for PUBG in India.
The crackdown was part of New Delhi's ban of more than 100 mobile apps of Chinese origins, following a months-long border standoff between the nuclear-armed rivals.
The ban has expanded since to cover more than 300 apps.
(With Reuters inputs)