PUBG Mobile: India set to ban Tencent-based games including COD Mobile, Clash of Clans and more!

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As part of the growing geopolitical conflict between India and China, the Indian Government is allegedly looking into banning further apps with connections to Chinese-based companies.

This comes after the country banned 59 apps, including Tik Tok and Mobile Legends, in late June.

This list of apps being investigated by Indian authorities, seen by The Economic Times, likely includes prominent free-to-play games owned by Tencent such as Call of Duty: Mobile, Clash of Clans and PUBG Mobile.

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Why is India banning Chinese applications?

In a statement released after the first ban wave, the Indian Government explained that these apps were "prejudicial to sovereignty and integrity of India, defence of India, security of state and public order."

Authorities also criticised these apps for transferring and collecting data on Indian citizens without proper authorisation.

This is the latest development in a growing dispute between India and China following clashes in the disputed Ladakh region left 20 Indian soldiers dead.

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Will India ban PUBG Mobile?

While not confirmed, it is highly likely that the second ban wave will see PUBG Mobile prohibited in India.

Tencent, the owner of PUBG Mobile,now valued at $670bn,is one of China's largest companies. Facebook's value is $665bn.

PUBG Mobile has a huge Indian player base, with Sensor Tower estimating that the game has been downloaded 175 million times in the country.

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It could be the end for PUBG Mobile in India...

Its free-to-play monetisation model makes it popular amongst gamers in markets outside the West who would not otherwise be able to play the most recent releases on the devices.

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Tencent's popular battle royale game may not be seen as the most pressing security threat, but after the Chinese-developed MOBA Mobile Legends was banned in June, it is clear that Indian authorities are not just targeting social media or utility applications.

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What other games could the Indian Government ban?

The list of apps allegedly being investigated is not yet public, but if the Indian Government is targeting Tencent-owned applications, Call of Duty: Mobile is at risk of being banned alongside PUBG Mobile.

Tencent also recently acquired the Finnish studio Supercell, developers of the immensely successful Clash of Clans and Clash Royale games.

What is the reaction from PUBG Mobile players?

Indian players have taken to Twitter to protect PUBG Mobile from the Indian authorities.

As most Android devices in India, including phones from Oppo and Vivo, are not powerful enough to run the likes of Fortnite at a stable level, banning PUBG Mobile would have a devastating impact on the gaming community in India.

Indeed, the Indian Congress' spokesperson, Abhishek Manu Singhvi, doubted the next ban wave would include PUBG Mobile because of the reaction from players.

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While this is a derivative view of gaming, it does capture a concern the government may hold if they ban PUBG. The move is likely to be highly unpopular among young Indians (a group with a low voter turnout) who could turn their attention to the next election and vote out the incumbent government.

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