The ongoing skirmishes along the Indo-Chinese border have led India to put curbs on several apps and services belonging to the other side. TikTok was among the first high-profile bans, and Tencent's PUBG Mobile became another victim last week. Within days of the block, PUBG’s original South Korean publisher has decided to cut its ties with the Chinese developer, though just for its Indian business.

For those unaware, PUBG is developed by South Korea-based PUBG Corporation, which had partnered with China’s Tencent Games for the game’s mobile version back in 2018. PUBG Mobile soon rose to popularity at a global scale, with India housing the largest player count — until last week.

Given how crucial that massive userbase is, PUBG Corp has swiftly made up its mind to end Tencent’s PUBG Mobile franchise in India. Its statement notes that it’ll assume "all publishing responsibilities" in the country going forward, indicating it may not rely on any local or non-Chinese partner. The company is also looking for ways to increase community interaction through esports and events. More details on that should follow in the coming days.

India has so far banned hundreds of apps without explicitly acknowledging that only Chinese-origin software has been on the target list — it has consistently cited user privacy issues as the sole reason for these restrictions. However, this latest development from PUBG Corp is a strong indication that the series of bans did, in fact, come in response to its border issues with China and have little to do with protecting the consumer interest.

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  • Gurkanwal Singh