PUBG Mobile is one of the biggest titles in esports and one of India's biggest battle royale games. But in September, the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology announced the suspension of 118 Chinese apps, including this game.
The sudden move by the Indian government came as a shock to the entire Indian gaming community. It was not the first time that the authorities had banned applications with links to China. The government had also suspended fifty-nine other such applications in June.
The primary reason for the ban was security issues concerning the privacy and data of the users of PUBG Mobile.
Why was PUBG Mobile banned in India?
The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology put out a press release on PIB's official website upon the ban of the Chinese apps, along with PUBG Mobile, under Section 69A.
According to this official release, these mobile applications were suspended because they were:
"Prejudicial to sovereignty and integrity of India, defence of India, security of state and public order."
To simplify the official statement, these apps were apparently stealing user data and secretively transmitting it to servers outside the country. Hence, the decision was taken to ensure the safety, security, and sovereignty of Indian cyberspace.
In another press release, the ministry said:
"The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology has received many complaints from various sources, including several reports about the misuse of some mobile apps available on Android and iOS platforms for stealing and surreptitiously transmitting users' data in an unauthorized manner to servers which have locations outside India. The compilation of these data, its mining and profiling by elements hostile to national security and defence of India, which ultimately impinges upon the sovereignty and integrity of India, is a matter of very deep and immediate concern which requires emergency measures."
These apps were found to be performing activities not under the IT Act. Hence, the government of India banned them with immediate effect.
The developers of PUBG Mobile also responded, saying that its users' privacy and data are of the utmost priority and that it takes the protection of them very seriously. They also promised to contact Indian authorities soon and find a resolution.
After a couple of months, PUBG Corporation revealed a new website for PUBG Mobile India, which promised that a new version and a new APK file would be released for the Indian users. It would solely be aimed at prioritizing the needs of the country's users.
Issues that need to be fixed
- The Indian version's main priority should be to secure users' data and privacy and make sure that it isn't being transmitted outside the country, as only this aspect of the app is the primary concern for the government.
- Also, as the app will be a sole priority for Indian players, PUBG Mobile should introduce Indian region servers to fix high ping problems and lag issues.
- Also, a Hindi Chat Support system might help connect better with the users of the Indian version of this mega-popular title.
As per the latest reports, it could be a while before the game comes back, as PUBG Mobile is yet to receive a green signal from the MEITY and had requested the ministry for a meeting. PUBG Mobile fans in India can do nothing but wait for the game's comeback.