PUBG Mobile is under the scanner along with 274 other Chinese apps, in a list released by India. The charges include violation of national security and user privacy. The move comes after a crackdown by the Government of India on Chinese tech companies as the political climate between the two nations continues to worsen. A report on the Economic Times said that there is a possibility of more Chinese companies being banned in the country.
In June 2020, India banned 59 Chinese apps in a highly controversial move including social video sharing platform, Tik Tok. The list also include Mobile Legends: Bang Bang and Clash of Kings. 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".
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.
What Would a PUBG Mobile Ban mean?
Built on the back of PUBG Mobile's popularity, there is an entire ecosystem of team owners, organizations, tournament organizers, content creators, streamers, influencers and professional players. India is also the country with the highest number of players for the title with over 175 million downloads. A ban on the game would threaten the livelihoods of many and would put a major dent on the entire esports industry. On the other hand, data privacy is a serious issue and the threat of using this data for wrong purposes is something that everyone should be wary of. Whether the game will actually be banned or not, only time will be able to tell us.