After banning PUBG Mobile back in the year 2020, the government of India has now blocked the Indian version of PUBG, dubbed the Battlegrounds Mobile India , better known as BGMI. Launched just a few months ago, BGMI is no longer available for download in the country.
The battle royale mobile game suddenly disappeared from both the Google Play store as well as the Apple App store on Thursday evening. Neither Krafton nor the Indian government has officially confirmed the reason behind the blocking. However, a report coming from Reuters suggests that BGMI, just like PUBG Mobile, has been blocked under Section 69A of the Information Technology Act.
So, what does this act actually mean? Section 69A of the IT Act basically empowers the government to restrict access to any content in the interest of sovereignty and integrity of the country, security of the state, friendly relations with foreign states, or public order.
To recall, hundreds of Chinese apps like PUBG Mobile, Camscanner, TikTok, among many others were all banned in India under Section 69A of the IT Act. These apps are no longer available in India. The government mainly feared that all of these apps shared users’ data with the Chinese government. As per the report, the government of India blocked BGMI, a game backed by China’s Tencent, due to concerns over data sharing and mining in China. We are still waiting for an official statement from the government.
For the unaware, BGMI is developed by Krafton, which is actually a South Korean company backed by the Chinese firm Tencent. As per the privacy page of BGMI, the company hosts user data on servers in India and Singapore. “Your personal information will be stored and processed on servers located in India and Singapore,” the official blog post notes. So, whether BGMI was really collecting user data or not is still a mystery and yet to be confirmed.
The game developer said that it is currently working with the government. So, we can expect Krafton to address the concerns and bring BGMI back to the Play store and App store. “We are clarifying how BGMI was removed from the Google Play store and the App store and will let you know once we get specific information,” Krafton told India Today Tech when inquired.
Currently, BGMI is only removed from app stores and not banned. We say that because users who have the game installed are still able to play without any problems. So, if the game was banned, it wouldn’t even be playable.