Is PUBG trying to relaunch in India without taking government permission? | Technology News

Is PUBG trying to relaunch in India without taking government permission? | Technology News

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New Delhi: Last year, the Indian Government banned over 260 apps for engaging in activities which were against India’s national security and territorial integrity.

However, more recently some of these apps have been seen trying to re-enter the country by changing their names and structure –the biggest name among all being PUBG Mobile.

Apart from national security and data privacy concerns with this game, issues of addiction in children, monetary-loss, self-harm, suicides and murders attributed to PUBG when it was available in India.

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

Dr. Tyagi has been conducting research on predatory practises of Chinese companies in India and as part of that had filed RTIs with the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) and Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) asking for documents relating for 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.

In absence of specific permission, the reentry of banned apps with a modified name and structure is problematic, because one cannot be sure if the security issues have been resolved. Moreover, in this case Tencent is the second biggest shareholder in Krafton and will have data-sharing agreements with it.

Also, in case of PUBG relaunch, while the game is being sold as being 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 in non-India law for the users, added Dr. Tyagi.

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 renter India, he further added.

It may be recalled that earlier this year, the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights had also opposed the relaunch of the game and more recently multiple public representatives including MPs and MLAs across party-lines and from various parts of India and millions of citizens have opposed the relaunch of India.

However, these MPs and MLAs were targeted by Chinese sponsored trolls who questions the territorial integrity of India and said that Arunachal Pradesh was a part of China and also made racist comments against north-eastern citizens of India. Neither Krafton nor Tencent has publicly disowned these comments and these trolls.



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