PUBG, other banned apps attempting to re-enter India without govt permit

Image Source : INDIA TV

PUBG, other banned apps attempting to re-enter India without govt permit

Banned apps including the infamous PUBG is attempting to make an entry into India again, India TV has learnt. PUBG and similar apps were last year banned by the Indian government for concerns relating to national security and data privacy breaches, besides issues of addiction in children, monetary loss, self harm, suicides and murders. 

Krafton, which is controlled by Chinese behemoth Tencent, is trying to relaunch PUBG in India as Battlegrounds Mobile India. However, no permission has been granted for the relaunch of this banned game in India. The revelation was made in response to a RTI by national security expert Dr. Gaurav Tyagi, who is an Assistant Professor at the Special Centre for National Security Studies in JNU.

Dr. Tyagi, who has been conducting research on predatory practices of Chinese companies in India, had filed RTIs with the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) and Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) asking for documents relating to the relaunch of PUBG Mobile. However, according to the RTI responses, none of these ministries have given any specific permission for the relaunch of the game. 

Since no permission has been sought, the re-entry of the banned apps with a modified name and structure appears to be in violation. Moreover, Tencent is the second biggest shareholder in Krafton and will have data-sharing agreement with it.

“In case of PUBG relaunch, while the game is being sold as “Made in India” only for Indian users, the data for the same will be sent to other regions and countries as mentioned in the privacy policy. Similarly, the governing law, according to the terms of service, is non-India law for the users,” Dr. Tyagi said.

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“The government should take strict actions against such apps, which are trying to circumvent India laws, else tomorrow other apps like WeChat and TikTok will also use this route to re-enter India,” he further said.

Earlier this year, the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights had also opposed the relaunch of the game. Recently, multiple public representatives including MPs and MLAs across party-lines had also registered their protest. 

READ MORE: PUBG Mobile India could launch as Battlegrounds Mobile India soon

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