PUBG Mobile could be permanently banned in India

PUBG Mobile
(Image credit: Future)

PUBG Mobile was banned in India last September and the efforts to bring it back to the Indian audience has been a constant since. But it did yield much results. And now it seems like the game is in danger of being permanently banned. 

In a new move this week, Indian Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MEITY) permanently banned 59 Chinese apps from India that include the likes of TikTok and WeChat. MEITY reasoned that, "The government is not satisfied with the response/explanation given by these companies. Hence, the ban for these 59 apps is permanent now."

These apps were part of the first wave of temporary bans from last year and MEITY had asked for an explanation on how they handle user data and collection. Being dissatisfied by the response these were banned.

This could very well be the fate of PUBG Mobile in India, and according to an IGN India report a representative from the ministry commented, "The authorities aren’t stupid, even if publishing duties have changed hands, the development of the game is still based in China,” says one source. “The entire exercise seems like putting lipstick on a pig."

The effort to have PUBG Mobile unbanned

While it seems like PUBG Mobile India is headed for a permanent ban, some are of the opinion that the situation can be salvaged. Some believe that Krafton has not been able to put an effective team together yet. 

“They don’t have the right team in place just yet to talk to the government,” a source told IGN India. “Hopefully discussions begin by March-April so Indian esports teams can participate by the second half of the year in international tournaments.”

While the game is still not available in India, apparently it still has a player base in the millions. According to a TechCrunch report, analytics firm App Annie says PUBG Mobile’s monthly active users from India is still over 15 million.

Krafton Corporation that owns the PUBG branding did away with Tencent as the distributor in India and has since been trying to get the game unbanned, but an RTI filed by Medianama  got the following response from MEITY.

“MEITY does not grant permission for starting of any websites / mobile Apps / service. Accordingly, MEITY has not granted permission to PUBG / PUBG mobile India.” Hence it seems like it's still a long way to unbanning the game in India, and it may even be gone permanently.


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Bodhisatwa Ray

Hardcore gamer, gadget enthusiast & cinema buff | Gaming, tech correspondent & reviewer at TechRadar