Battle Mobile India (BGMI), a game similar to the hit mobile fighting game PlayerUnknown’s Battleground (PUBG), has been removed from the Google and Apple app stores in India after a government order. Two years ago, India banned PUBG.
BGMI developers Krafton and Google have confirmed that BGMI has been suspended. Here’s why the game was removed and what the developers have to say about it.
Why was BGMI removed?
In June, a 16-year-old boy from Lucknow allegedly shot his mother for scolding him for playing BGMI. The incident reignited a debate about violence in such games and was also raised in parliament. Reacting to this, the government said it would take action against such apps.
Rajeev Chandrasekhar, Minister of State for Electronics and IT, said: “Various reports and grievances have been received at the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) stating that blocked apps appears with a new avatar using similar sounding names or rebranded with the same functionality. All of these reports and grievances were forwarded to the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), the requesting agency, for review. MeitY follows due process as set out in the Information Technology Rules (Procedure and Safeguards for Blocking Public Access to Information) 2009.
The ban could also be linked to BGMI’s connection to China. While the app is published by South Korea-based Krafton, China’s Tencent Holdings owns a 13.6% stake in the company through its subsidiary Image Frame Investment.
A report of Reuters said BGMI was banned under Section 69A of the Information Technology Act, the same section previously used to ban PUBG.
The provision allows the government to block public access to apps and websites in the interest of national security.
What did Krafton say about the ban?
Krafton confirmed the app was taken down and said it was working to bring it back. “We are clarifying the comment BGMI has been removed from Google Play Store and Apple App Store and let you know once we get specific information. »
“At Krafton, the security and privacy of our user data is of the utmost importance to us. We have always been responsive to all laws and regulations in India, including data protection laws and regulations, and we will continue to comply with them,” the company added.
Statement from Google
“Upon receipt of the order, following established process, we notified the affected developer and blocked access to the app which remained available on Play Store in India,” a Google spokesperson said in a statement. .
Why was PUBG banned in India?
PUBG, published by Tencent Games, was banned in India in 2020, along with over 100 other apps with links to China. Other apps that have been suspended include WeChat and TikTok. The government action came amid border tensions between India and China following clashes in the Galwan Valley.