Tensions between India and China have been high in the past few weeks, with the countries trading blows at the border. During this time of conflict, many on the Indian side have taken up initiatives to boycott Chinese goods and apps from their phone and turn to desi alternatives.
Messages going around on social media are claiming that the Ministry of IT has issued an order banning certain Chinese apps on Google’s Play Store and the App Store. The message included a list that also featured games like Mobile Legends, Clash of Kings, and Gale of Sultans along with other popular Chinese apps like TikTok and CamScanner. The government, however, has clarified that the order is fake and no such communication took place with either Google or Apple.
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This hasn’t stopped hashtags like #BoycottChina on Twitter and videos of people removing Chinese apps and appliances like TVs from their homes are trending on social media. This has resulted in confusion among fans of the popular MOBA game Mobile Legends: Bang Bang.
Mobile Legends: Bang Bang has been made and published by Moonton for both Android and iOS phones. Moonton was founded in April 2014 as YoungJoy Technology Limited, which then became Shanghai Moonton Technology Co. Ltd. So yes, it is a Chinese video game developer as the publisher is based in Shanghai. In 2016, Mobile Legends became quite popular in Southeast Asia and was among the games chosen for first medal event esports competition at 2019 Southeast Asian Games in the Philippines. It was also the most-downloaded free mobile game app among iPhone users in 2017. Mobile Legends has a user base of over 75 million active users, and it has managed to register more than 500 million downloads since coming out almost four years ago.
Despite the Anti-China sentiment, MLBB is going strong on the list of top apps. Its store ranking has not changed on the Google Play Store since April of 2020 and has remained at a #48. While many gamers are looking to uninstall the popular Chinese battle-royales PUBG Mobile and games like Mobile Legends, the process is still slow as compared to other apps like TikTok that faced instant backlash. However with the impending release of League of Legends: Wild Rift, rumours of the shutdown and given the tense situation between the two countries, it is hard to tell whether MLBB will remain as popular in the coming months.