The Indian government on Wednesday banned 118 Chinese mobile apps, including the popular game PUBG, and the move comes at a time of heightened tension between India and China in Ladakh.
Within less than an hour of the Centre’s order to ban the gaming app, people flooded the social media as they expressed sadness over the ban, making PUBG the top Twitter trend in the world.
Netizens started imagining all sorts of happy reactions from Indian parents, who mus be elated after the PUBG ban. The game had a lot of young people addicted (and not just hooked) to it. Even though the gamers must be sad at the moment, it looks like a sigh of relief for many parents.
Many on Twitter also wondered if PUBG even qualified as a Chinese app.
Adding to it, the ban also expectedly brought forth a sea of reactions and questions including whether PUBG is a Chinese app, the name of PUBG’s owner etc, among fans of “Chicken Dinner" in India, many of whom took solace on Google to find out more about the app. PUBG had received over 500 search hits on Google.
Following the ban, searches for Call of Duty increased on Google. Searches for Call of Duty spiked at the same time as searches for PUBG following the announcement of the ban.
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 Ministry of Electronics and Information and Technology said the apps were banned as “they are engaged in activities prejudicial to sovereignty and integrity of India, defence of India, security of state and public order".
This also comes at a time when Atmanirbhar Bharat is in focus, as the government is pushing for local development of products, apps and services, instead of relying on imports.