In June 2020, India decided to block access to 59 Chinese apps in Google Play Store and the App Store due to tensions between the two countries. We have now had TikTok, Clash of Kings, and Mobile Legends banned for a month. While tensions along India’s Line of Actual Control with China have subsided, the countries are now engaged in a possible cold war-esque situation with shows of strength and diplomatic hostility. Recently the Indian Government moved 35,000 more troops to the Himalayan border with China.
Popular games like PUBG Mobile are now under the scanner along with 274 other Chinese apps, in a list released by the Indian Government. These apps are said to violate national security and user privacy. The official statement read, "The Ministry of Information Technology, invoking it’s power under section 69A of the Information Technology Act read with the relevant provisions of the Information Technology (Procedure and Safeguards for Blocking of Access of Information by Public) Rules 2009 and in view of the emergent nature of threats has decided to block 59 apps since in view of the information available they are engaged in activities which is prejudicial to sovereignty and integrity of India, defence of India, security of state and public order".
The move comes after a crackdown by the Government of India on Chinese tech companies. China's data sharing policy which mandates companies to share data with the Chinese government irrespective of where they operate from has been a cause of concern in many countries with even the United States of America contemplating banning certain apps including Tik Tok. While not confirmed, a ban on PUBG Mobile could have severe consequences on the countries growing gaming and esports scenes. Also, Chinese gaming companies risk losing access to about 300 million online gamers in India. During this time of conflict, many Indian citizens have also taken up initiatives to boycott Chinese goods and remove apps from their phone.
What has happened to Mobile Legends since the ban?
While TikTok was amongst the first mobile apps that was taken down from the Google Play Store after the ban, most of the banned applications like MLBB are still available on the platform. Mobile Legends can still be downloaded to your device. However, if you try to run the game, the following message pops up.
Moonton has assured Indian MLBB players that they are doing their best to work with the Government and get it unbanned but there has not been any update since.
With more apps coming under the scanner of the government, it will be an uphill battle for Moonton to get it unbanned. Although some diehard fans have resorted to downloading APKs to continue playing MLBB, we do not recommend using this method as it may pose a security threat to your mobile phone.
(Also Read: 5 Games To Play While MLBB Is Banned In India)