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PUBG Mobile is now banned in India but PUBG is not because it's Korean

Sushant Talwar     September 2, 2020

In the latest attack against Chinese apps, the government of India has now banned 118 new apps, in addition to the ones that it had announced a ban on earlier. Interestingly, the new list also contains applications such as PUBG Mobile -- a game that enjoys great popularity in India, with thousands of users logging into the application every day.

The government has announced that it is also banning PUBG Mobile Nordic Map: Livik, PUBG Mobile Lite, WeChat Work, and WeChat reading, in addition to the PUBG Mobile. However, what's interesting is that among the list of banned apps, the one name that is missing is PUBG.

Why PUBG isn't banned in India?

While on paper the two may appear the same, there is a vast difference between them, with the latter being a game that's available for users on PCs. The former, as its name suggests, is a game for mobile players. However, there's also another big difference between the two, one which has saved PUBG from being banned in India -- its publisher.

Of the two, only PUBG Mobile has a Chinese publisher, Tencent, with its servers majorly based in China. On the other hand, PUBG for PC is operated by a Korean publisher, the PUBG Corp. This appears to be the reason behind why the game is still available on PC, even as it remains banned on mobiles in India.

According to the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, PUBG Mobile has been banned under Section 69A of the Information Technology Act, on grounds that "they are engaged in activities which are prejudicial to sovereignty and integrity of India, defence of India, security of state and public order".

A release issued by the Department Of Telecommunication (DOT) states that the game was banned after the Indian Cyber Crime Coordination Centre and Ministry of Home Affairs sent an exhaustive recommendation for blocking the app.

The move, as per the government, will help safeguard the interests of crores of Indian mobile and internet users and is a targeted move to ensure safety, security and sovereignty of Indian cyberspace.

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