The Indian government has blocked access to Battlegrounds Mobile India (BGMI), a popular battle royale format game from South Korean game developer Krafton, over concerns about its data being shared and exploited in China, an Indian government source told Reuters on Friday. . The blocking comes almost two years after PUBG Mobile was banned in the country. Section 69A of India’s Information Technology Act allows the government to block public access to content in the interests of national security, among other reasons. Orders issued under this section are generally confidential in nature.
New Delhi has used its powers under India’s Computer Act to block Battlegrounds Mobile India, a game from South Korean company Krafton, which is backed by China’s Tencent, based on a provision which it has relied on since 2020 to ban several other Chinese apps on national security grounds. , the government official and another source with direct knowledge told Reuters.
Section 69A of the IT Act allows the government to block public access to content in the interest of national security, among other reasons. Orders issued under this section are generally confidential in nature.
The Indian government did not publicly announce the blockage. But the app was removed from Alphabet’s Google Play Store and Apple’s App Store on Thursday evening in India.
Swadeshi Jagran Manch (SJM) and the nonprofit organization Prahar have repeatedly called on the government to investigate BGMI’s “Chinese influence”, Prahar chairman Abhay Mishra told Reuters. SJM is the economic wing of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh.
“In the so-called new avatar, the BGMI was no different from the old PUBG, with Tencent still controlling it in the background,” Mishra added.
The ban drew strong online reactions from popular gamers in India on Twitter and YouTube.
“I hope our government understands that thousands of esports athletes and content creators and their lives depend on BGMI,” tweeted Abhijeet Andhare, a Twitter user with over 92,000 followers.
“We are clarifying how BGMI was removed from Google Play Store and App Store and will let you know once we get specific information,” Krafton told Gadgets 360 earlier today.
A Google spokesperson confirmed that the removal of Battlegrounds Mobile India was the result of a government order. “Upon receipt of the order, as per established process, we notified the concerned developer and blocked access to the app which remained available on the Play Store in India,” the spokesperson told Gadgets 360. order details are awaited.
Here’s how the Indian esports industry reacted to the blocking of BGMI by Apple and Google’s app stores.
“We have not yet received an official statement from the government on the reason for the removal of the game from the Play Store and the App Store. This is between the publisher and the government and we hope this issue will be resolved soon For ESPL, it’s a waiting time to make other decisions,” Esports Premier League Director Vishwalok Nath said.
“The BGMI BAN will certainly be a setback for all major stakeholders such as tournament organizations, esports teams, coaches, support staff and most importantly athletes. However, at Revenant Esports, we will always support our athletes BGMI and we will make sure they use our training center to create content and try their hand at different games That being said the whole industry will take a hit but Revenant was built during the first pass of the ban and we have always believed in diversification, we still have rosters competing in Pokémon Unite which will represent India at the world championship in London, Call of Duty Mobile which will play the regional playoffs of the world championship, Apex Legends which previously represented the SEA region during the ALGS playoffs in Stockholm, Valorant currently playing a few regional tournaments, we were the youngest team to re present our region more than 3 times in 8 months. We have always believed in diversity. cation and will continue to do so, we are optimistic about supporting our BGMI athletes during these challenging times,” said Rohit Jagasia, Founder and CEO of Revenant Esports.
“All we know is that such occurrences are becoming more frequent year on year and occur without any foresight. Not long ago we saw a wave of apps based in China being banned overnight, and we’ve also seen apps like Free Fire get the red flag – it all happens without any prior warning. ‘a dispute by BGMI, the game had once again slipped under the government’s radar and marked it as ‘dangerous for young adults.’ Similar incidents of disputes and harm from gambling have occurred in the past” , said Rohit Agarwal, founder and director of marketing company Alpha Zegus.
[The] The government has yet to release an official statement on the reasoning behind the ban (given that Krafton had taken almost every precaution possible to launch the game within established guidelines), but what we’ve realized so far day is that mobile games are becoming more and more unpredictable day by day. I hope a regulatory body will come into play that will monitor games over time, instead of banning them overnight,” Agarwal added.