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India might ban PUBG Mobile as part of Chinese app crackdown

The country is concerned about privacy and security for another 275 apps.

Published onJuly 27, 2020

Samsung Galaxy A70 playing PUBG
  • India is examining 275 Chinese apps, including PUBG Mobile, for possible privacy and security violations.
  • AliExpress, Resso, and other well-known apps are also on the list.
  • It would come after a ban on TikTok and other apps in June.

India might extend its ban on TikTok and other Chinese-origin apps to include PUBG Mobile and similarly high-profile titles.

Economic Times sources claim the country has written a list of 275 Chinese apps it will study for possible national security and privacy issues, including PUBG Mobile (backed by Chinese tech giant Tencent) and Alibaba’s shopping app AliExpress. More apps from TikTok owner ByteDance are also under scrutiny, such as Resso and ULike, while 14 of Xiaomi’s Mi apps are receiving a close look. Companies with Chinese investments, like Clash of Clans developer Supercell, are also under investigation.

It’s not certain how likely these bans might be. The Indian government might ban “all, some, or none” of the 275, one of the purported insiders said. The government is said to be developing a formal process for these bans, including a law or regulation that would require constant monitoring of these apps.

Read more: The best battle royale games like PUBG Mobile or Fortnite on Android

A spokesperson for the union home ministry didn’t respond to ET‘s request for comment, although an official from the ministry of electronics and IT said that there was “process involved” for any possible ban.

India banned the initial wave of apps following clashes at the Chinese border.

If there was a PUBG Mobile ban, it could land a serious blow to developer PUBG Corporation. India is the largest market for the battle royale hit, according to Sensor Tower, with 175 million installs — 24% of the game’s total download count. While it wouldn’t be the end for PUBG Mobile, it would significantly shrink the audience for a title already facing stiff competition from Fortnite and other popular phone-friendly shooters.

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