Amidst escalating border tensions between the two nations, India’s been on a banning spree targeting apps with any Chinese connection. We’ve already seen a couple of these rounds that took down some big names like TikTok from the Indian Play Store. With the latest update to the restricted app list, the Indian government has decided to pull the plug on a total of 118 apps, including the wildly popular multiplayer game, PUBG Mobile.
PUBG’s ban doesn’t come as a surprise since a July report did suggest that India was considering imposing restrictions on the Tencent-owned mobile game, along with some other prominent apps, many of which have been spared this time. This blockage in India is going to be a huge setback for the game maker, as the country accounted for the biggest chunk of its worldwide user count — standing at 175 million recently. In addition to the main app, PUBG Mobile Lite must also be taken off the Play Store as per the official order.
Other names on today’s list are ByteDance’s ULike and some less popular WeChat-branded apps; the main WeChat app is already banned. We also have a handful of apps from APUS, including its launcher, Baidu, and AliPay. Other games that got the ax include Ludo World, Arena of Valor, and Knives Out. You can glance at the full list of 118 apps in the tweet embedded below:
Government blocks 118 mobile apps which are prejudicial to sovereignty and integrity of India, Defence of India, Security of State and Public Order: Govt of India
PUBG MOBILE Nordic Map: Livik, PUBG MOBILE LITE, WeChat Work & WeChat reading are among the banned mobile apps. pic.twitter.com/VWrg3WUnO8
— ANI (@ANI) September 2, 2020
The press note issued by the authorities once again makes the accusation that these apps were involved in stealing and secretively sending user data to servers outside Indian soil. It mentions that this ban comes as a result of various complaints raised with officials — without naming the sources or their findings. The reluctance to make any hard proof public and the fact that today’s announcement comes on the heels of a recent clash between Indian and Chinese troops raises a few questions about what's really motivating all this.
- Press Information Bureau (PIB)
- Gurkanwal Singh