The Indian government on Wednesday banned PUBG Mobile along with 117 other Chinese apps under Section 69A of the Information Technology Act as “they are engaged in activities which are prejudicial to sovereignty and integrity of India, defense of India, security of state and public order.” This is the third round of restrictions or ban on mobile apps imposed by India in the past two months amidst rising tension with the Chinese army.
Some of the banned apps include Chinese apps — Baidu, Ride Out Heroes NetEase Games, Soul Hunters, Rules of Survival amongst others.
“In the interest of sovereignty and integrity of India, defense of India and the security of the State, and using the sovereign powers, the Government of India has decided to block the usage of certain apps,” said a statement issued by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MEITY).
Following the ban on 59 Chinese apps, including popular ones such as ByteDance-owned TikTok and Alibaba-owned UC Browser, some of the banned applications hinted at moving their data servers to India, to assuage the government’s concerns over data security violations.
In less than an hour of the Centre’s order to ban the gaming app, people flooded the social media as they expressed sadness over the ban, making PUBG the top Twitter trend in the world. It was very clear from the memes shared that Indian mothers are the happiest after the ban of PUBG Mobile.
The ban on the 118 apps will open opportunities for local entrepreneurs to build and scale similar apps. The ban on TikTok had triggered a race among established companies and new players to launch clones of TikTok, Bigo Live, Vigo, and other popular but now banned apps in the short video space.
Will we see an Indian app developer creating an alternative to PUBG Mobile? The recent support for an Atmanirbhar App Innovation is giving a lot of hope to gamers and developers.