"Will PUBG be banned in India?"
Almost a month ago, gamers in India rejoiced after they learned that their favourite mobile game PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds aka PUBG has had a close escape from the Chinese app ban list published by the Indian government.
The massively popular multiplayer game, a staple in Indian households, did not find a mention in the long list of 59 Chinese apps which were collectively termed as "engaged in activities which is prejudicial to sovereignty and integrity of India, defence of India, the security of state and public order."
But things took a wild turn on Monday after reports surfaced online indicating that more Chinese owned apps could go under the scanner in India at a time when the geopolitical tensions between India and China are at an all-time high. As many as 275 apps are reportedly being scanned for potential user privacy violations and national security threats.
With the new update, came the dreaded news for the gamers. It is believed that the latest list of apps under the scanner includes the incredibly popular game PUBG Mobile. Notably, Monday also saw the axing of 47 apps that cloned the previously banned apps.
While others responded to the news with memes.
#chineseappbanned Then 59 Chinese apps Now 47 Chinese apps And including #PUBG . Government to pubg players: pic.twitter.com/JMA8JCaH5b — M̷i̷g̷h̷t̷y̷ ̷T̷h̷o̷r̷ (@mrsohail_) July 27, 2020
#Chineseappbanned See this clip guys 59 Chinese Maybe #PUBG is death pic.twitter.com/jUF2Gv3F0e — (@Khaja_Nazeer007) July 27, 2020
47 more Chinese app banned by government and also considering a ban on PUBG in India. Le* #PUBG players seeing #chineseappbanned on trending : pic.twitter.com/Wc3F0HjVU1 — Er. Parth Trivedi (@PVT007007) July 27, 2020
#Chineseappbanned #PUBG. Indian Govt bans 47 Chinese 'Clone' apps. pic.twitter.com/ClllKIOADc — Surbhi (@ar_bhi_26) July 27, 2020
#PUBG Govt planning to ban PUBG mobile in India meanwhile gamers to Govt: pic.twitter.com/oeAQ0BfrdN — (@iamjitusrivas) July 27, 2020
The govt is considering a ban on #PUBG after banning 47 more Chinese apps Le Tiktokers to #PUBG fans : pic.twitter.com/hjCfIkWPcb — Namrata (@This_Is_Namrata) July 27, 2020
PUBG was developed by a man named Brendan Greene, who hails from Ireland. Now PUBG for desktops was developed by a South Korean gaming company named Bluehole.
However, in 2017, there were reports that the game could get banned in China because it was too violent and bloody and went against the cultural values of the country. In fact, the government offered PUBG lovers a state-approved alternative of the game, Force for Peace.
This is where the Chinese company Tencent stepped in and currently holds a 10% stakehold in Bluehole.
So if PUBG is 90% not Chinese, why has it come under the radar?
In China, the National Intelligence Law of 2017 governs all tech companies that are based in China or are under Chinese ownership.
The law mandates all businesses to share any and all information that the Chinese Government may ask for. This is something that is worrying governments around the world, including India.