PUBG Mobile Officially Removed From India

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Looks like it’s official. PUBG Mobile is no longer available in India. That’s right, Tencent has finally thrown in the towel and has shut down PUBG Mobile in the country. This is a good example of how politics and country relations can have an impact on a video game.

The shut down was announced by Tencent in a statement saying that it has terminated “all service and access for users in India to PUBG Mobile Nordic Map: Livik and PUBG Mobile Lite on October 30, 2020.” This was done in order to comply with the interim order that was released by India’s Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology. With this, all the rights to publish PUBG Mobile in India is going back to PUBG Corp.

Tencent went on to say that they have always put top priority on protecting users and “have always complied with applicable data protection laws and regulations in India.” Tencent added that they “deeply regret this outcome", and thanked players in India for their support.

Tencent pulling PUBG Mobile out of India is not a surprise considering what has happened. Back in September, it was announced that more than 100 Chinese apps were listed in a second wave of bans in India, one of them being PUBG Mobile. While PUBG is developed by a South Korean company, the mobile version has been managed by a Chinese one.

The ban on Chinese apps was made due to “cybersecurity concerns.” However, the problem itself could be traced to the growing tension between India and China. PUBG Mobile was initially part of the first wave of bans, but managed not to get included. However, even before then, India had already been looking into the game for allegedly having a negative impact on young people. Read more about that here.

A week later, PUBG Corp. announced that it had ended its relationship with Tencent to publish the game in India. PUBG Corp. is now going to be the one responsible for publishing PUBG Mobile in the country and revealed that it was working “with the Indian government to bring the game back on the market while complying with the country's laws and regulations.” Read more about that here.

As of September 2020, it was reported that PUBG Mobile had 40 million active users in the country. In addition, PUBG Mobile had been downloaded 175 million times in India, which is around a quarter of the game’s global downloads. With these figures, there’s no question that PUBG Corp is going to try to find a way to bring the game back to this market.

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