BGMI Ban: India reportedly bans battle royale title over concerns of data sharing with China
After the ban on PUBG Mobile, the battle royale made a spectacular comeback as BGMI. Now, it has been banned as well.
Battlegrounds Mobile India (BGMI) has reportedly been banned in India, according to a Reuters report. The Indian version of PUBG Mobile released a few months after a similar ban for the latter by the country’s government.
Why has BGMI been banned in India?
As per the report, the game's ban is due to concerns that Krafton was sharing data with China. India’s ministry of electronics hasn’t made a public announcement yet about the ban, though.
China and India are in a long-term border feud. As a result, India has banned over 300 applications in the past three years for being close to China.
A Krafton spokesperson said that the company is “talking to relevant authorities” to figure out the situation behind the ban on BGMI.
The ministry reportedly exercised its power under Section 69a of the IT Act to ban the game. This section allows the government to ban any content on the internet if it’s against the security and integrity of the country. Furthermore, orders issued under this ban are secretive. Thus, a public statement by the government seems unlikely.
During PUBG Mobile’s ban in 2020, the Indian ministry of electronics released a press release nonetheless. It said that the game, along with 117 other apps, was sharing data with China. The government found this to be “prejudicial to sovereignty and integrity of India, defense of India, security of the state, and public order.”
BGMI return now seems unlikely, but Krafton’s New State Mobile is unaffected
In 2020, Chinese company Tencent published PUBG Mobile. BGMI, on the other hand, was a rebranded version of the same game. This game, however, was published by South Korea’s Krafton.
It seems that this wasn’t enough to convince the Indian government that the data isn’t going to China. It’s unlikely now that the game will ever be coming back to the South Asian country. BGMI had over 100 million users in India.
New State Mobile, however, which is a futuristic version of PUBG by Krafton, is still available in India.
Tencent holds a minority stake of just 13.5 percent in Krafton.
Indian gaming community reacts to the BGMI ban
Several professional players and content creators have reacted to the ban. Naman “Mortal” Mathur, a professional player and content creator, said in a tweet the news “comes as a shocker.”
“All will come down to a stop if something happens to BGMI (Top esports game in India),” he added.
Abhijeet “Ghatak” Andhare, the coach of GodLike Esports, said in a tweet that he hoped the government understands that the livelihoods of thousands of players and creators are dependent on the game.
Manoj Kashyap, the owner of Velocity Gaming, said that the news about the ban on BGMI isn't good news at all. “Tomorrow any game could face the same situation.”
The future for India’s young esports and gaming industry remains in suspense for now.
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Editor | Twitter @wasifahd_
Wasif is an esports journalist from India who covers mobile gaming news. From PUBG Mobile to Wild Rift, he has been covering mobile esports for over three years. You can reach out to him on Twitter to chat about games and esports anytime.