The Indian government has today banned 118 Chinese apps in the country. Among these apps is PUBG Mobile, India’s most popular Battle Royale game for mobile devices. The authorities have also banned the lighter version of PUBG – PUBG Mobile Lite — developed for less powerful phones. According to the Indian government, these 118 apps are “Prejudicial to Sovereignty and Integrity of India, Defence of India, Security of State and Public Order.”
Tensions between China and India have been rising recently due to the military face-off at the border of the two countries that took place a few months ago. Since then, the Indian government has been making it harder for Chinese companies to operate in India. In June, the Indian government banned 59 Chinese apps in the country, including the popular video-focused social media platform, TikTok. A month later, it banned 47 more Chinese apps in the country. Fortunately, PUBG wasn’t a part of either of those two bans. That, unfortunately, changes today.
Government blocks 118 mobile apps which are prejudicial to sovereignty and integrity of India, Defence of India, Security of State and Public Order: Govt of India
PUBG MOBILE Nordic Map: Livik, PUBG MOBILE LITE, WeChat Work & WeChat reading are among the banned mobile apps. pic.twitter.com/VWrg3WUnO8
— ANI (@ANI) September 2, 2020
As PUBG has been banned in India, Apple and Google will have to remove the standard and the lighter version of the game from their app distribution platforms. Other app stores that are operating in the country will also have to remove PUBG Mobile and PUBG Mobile Lite. It means that if you don’t already have the game installed, you won’t be able to download it from any app stores going further (Android users might be able to download the APK and install the game manually). People who already have PUBG installed on their mobile might or might not be able to play the game as there is no clarity if the Indian government will block PUBG servers in the country, which could stop the game from working. Moreover, these users will not able to update the game to new versions that might release in the future.
With the ban on PUBG, Apple users have now lost their access to two of the world’s most popular Battle Royale games, with the other being Fortnite. Apple removed Fortnite from the App Store as the game developer violated App Store policies by introducing a direct payment service in the game.
PUBG Mobile has over 33 million players in India. Now that the game has been banned, most of those players might shift to another popular Battle Royale game in the country, Call of Duty Mobile. While there are 117 more apps that have been banned in the country, none of them were as popular as PUBG. Other widely used apps in the country that have been banned today include Baidu, CamCard, WeChat Reading, WeChat Work, Smart App Lock, Hide App, Cleaner – Phone Booster, Go SMS Pro, Tantan, Alipay, and VPN for TikTok to name a few.