On Wednesday, the Indian Government banned 118 mostly-Chinese mobile applications, including the popular online multiplayer game PUBG, after a fresh round of border confrontation with China. This is the third round of crackdown by the government on Chinese-linked applications following the Galwan Valley clashes in June in which 20 Indian soldiers were killed. In a statement, the government said the decision to ban the apps would safeguard the interests of Indian users and to ensure safety, security and sovereignty of Indian cyberspace.
Launched in 2018, PUBG has had a major impact on the gaming industry and is one of the most popular names in the esports industry. The mobile version of the game is completely controlled by a Chinese Multinational organisation known as Tencent. With a huge audience in India, the game has risen even more as a large number of content creators have been part of the mobile version in the country. There are close to 50 million active PUBG players in India, according to reports and the game clocks in some 13 million daily users.
Lokesh Suji, Director of Esports Federation of India said that the Indian gaming industry does not depend on only one game. He also encouraged Indian video game developers to rise and grab this opportunity to build innovative online multiplayer games. He mentioned that games like HitWicket, WCC, Okie Gaming which are all homegrown products and now have the great opportunity to make their presence known.
Suji further added, “While the stress is to become ‘Atma Nirbhar’. I believe this is a great opportunity for the government and the Ministry of Sports to also recognize Esports as a medal-prospect sporting opportunity. The gaming community can also benefit if government recognition is given to the sport.”
Back in June, the government had previously banned 59 mobile apps such as UC browser, Tik Tok, WeChat. Explaining its latest decision, the ministry said it had received many complaints about the misuse of some mobile apps on Android and iOS platforms, citing security concerns.
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