In less than 24 hours after BGMI, short for Battlegrounds Mobile India, was delisted from the Google Play Store and the Apple App Store, the Indian government has confirmed it has banned the game over national security concerns. The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) has said it has blocked the game under the same IT laws that it invoked to ban as many as 118 apps, allegedly having Chinese association, back in 2020. PUBG Mobile, the game on which BGMI is based, was a part of the banned apps. Also Read - OnePlus Ace Pro live image appears ahead of official launch: Check expected price, features and more
A government circular said the ban came as a result of action over concerns that BGMI was sharing data with China. The government blocked public access to 118 apps initially in 2020 using Section 69A of the Indian IT laws. It has used the same laws to ban Battlegrounds Mobile India, according to Reuters. However, the government has not publicly commented on the confidential 69A section. Also Read - Infinix Smart 6 Plus launched in India: Check price, specs, availability
Both Google and Apple pulled Battlegrounds Mobile India (BGMI) from their respective app stores on Thursday. Krafton confirmed the delisting of the app, saying it was enquiring about the matter. “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 BGR India. Later, Google confirmed the takedown of the app was implemented following an order. “On receipt of the order, following established process, we have notified the affected developer and have blocked access to the app that remained available on the Play Store in India,” a Google spokesperson said. Also Read - BGMI ban confirmed: Check alternatives on Google Play Store and Apple App Store
We have reached out to Krafton to seek more clarity on the reasons behind the ban on BGMI.
During the ban imposed in 2020, the government said the apps were prejudicing the country’s integrity and sovereignty. PUBG Mobile was among the entities banned since it was associated with China’s Tencent Games. Later, in 2021, India banned a slew of more apps, allegedly having connections to China. However, the list of banned apps included Garena Free Fire, which is instead an app published by a Singapore-based company. Although the owner of the company had a linkage to China. Anyway, the app has yet to make a comeback.