Mobile Legends: Bang Bang has been developed and published by Moonton for both Android and iOS devices. Moonton was founded in April 2014 and was initially known as YoungJoy Technology Limited, later rebranding themselves as Shanghai Moonton Technology Co. Ltd. The video game developer and publisher is based in Shanghai, the commercial and financial centre of China.
The game was released for Android on 14th July 2017, while the iOS release happened earlier approximately 8 months earlier, on 9th November 2016. Since the game’s release in 2016, it has become quite popular in Southeast Asia, fostering a robust esports scene especially in countries like the Philippines and Indonesia. In fact, it was among the games chosen for the first medal event esports competition at the 2019 Southeast Asian Games in the Philippines. Today, the game has over 100 million downloads on the Google Play Store and reportedly 75 million active users since it first launched.
In June 2020, India decided to restrict access to 59 Chinese apps in Google Play Store and the App Store due to rising tensions between the two countries. Popular apps like TikTok and games like Clash of Kings and Mobile Legends have now been banned by the government for a month citing data privacy concerns. The Govt says the applications are engaged in practices that are detrimental to India's sovereignty and independence, protection of India, and state security and public order. The ban was enforced pursuant to Section 69A of the Information Technology Act read with the related provisions of IT rules 2009. The government also cited complaints about the transfer of data on Indian users abroad without authorisation. With several other popular apps and games like PUBG Mobile under the scanner, Chinese gaming companies risk losing access to about 300 million online gamers in India.
(Also Read: 5 Games To Play While MLBB Is Banned In India)
While tensions along India’s Line of Actual Control with China have subsided, relations between the countries are still strained. Moonton put out a statement saying that the Mobile Legends Operation Team was working with the Indian Government to ensure user data privacy and security, however, it is still unclear if and when the game will get unbanned.
Mobile Legends is widely considered a ripoff of the popular PC MOBA League of Legends. In July 2018, Tencent Games filed a lawsuit on behalf of Riot Games against Moonton for plagiarizing content from League of Legends. Moonton lost the lawsuit and has to pay $2.9 million as settlement.
(Also Read: Will Mobile Legends Be Unbanned In India?)