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BGMI Data Relayed to China Through 3rd Parties, Situation Monitored Closely: Krafton

Krafton has specified a number of regulatory and operational prompts, such as its data storage policy. (Image: BGMI/News18.com)

Krafton has specified a number of regulatory and operational prompts, such as its data storage policy. (Image: BGMI/News18.com)

Krafton claims that the user data that was shared with a server in China was not in violation of its updated privacy policy, but will be fixed prior to its official launch.

Battlegrounds Mobile India faced a bit of a an awkward situation, when over the weekend, an IGN India report claimed that the game was still relaying some user data to a data server in China. The latter was being reportedly sent to a China Mobile Communications server, which is owned by the Chinese state-owned telecom operator. IGN stated earlier today that Krafton appears to have fixed the bug, and a server ping tested conducted by them showed that no further user data relay to Chinese data servers was being noted. Now, Krafton has issued a statement acknowledging the incident.

A Krafton spokesperson said in a media statement, “Krafton is fully aware of the recent concerns over data handling in regards to BGMI Early Access test. Similar to other global mobile games and apps, Battlegrounds Mobile India also uses third party solutions to provide unique game features. In the process of using these solutions, some game data was shared to third parties. Its privacy policy fully discloses that the app may transfer some user data, with users’ consent to the privacy policy and choosing to migrate their accounts. No data has been shared in violation of the privacy policy.”

The spokesperson has further added, “The data shared to third parties are ONLY to enable certain game features. In the meantime, Krafton will continue to closely monitor and protect any data being transferred to unexpected and restricted IP addresses prior to the official launch.” It is not clear as to which ‘game features’ did the spokesperson refer to, and if these said features were optional. IGN India’s report from earlier today claimed that the only time that BGMI appears to be pinging a China data server at the moment is when a user requests their existing PUBG Mobile data to be ported to BGMI. The latter is still understandable since PUBG Mobile was published and operated by Tencent Gaming, which is based in China.

Based on the statement, Krafton alludes that while the data relay was spotted through a third party, it aims to do away with such issues by the time the game is launched for all. BGMI still remains in beta, and still requires users to sign up as a beta tester and pre-register for the game, before being allowed to download it. While we have noted that the game is a competent return for Krafton to India, it remains to be seen if the latest Chinese data debacle may cause any regulatory trouble for Krafton in India.

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