Indian government reportedly doesn’t plan to lift ban on PUBG Mobile

The application was banned in early September in response to escalating tensions between China and India.

Image via Tencent

The Indian government has no plans to lift the ban on the mobile version of PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds anytime soon, according to a report from InsideSport.

InsideSport reached out to the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology in India, who said the ministry isn’t expecting to lift bans on any of the over 100 mobile applications that were removed from Indian electronic marketplaces between June 15 and Sept. 2 due to the apps being developed or published by Chinese companies. 

“There is no discussion with-in the ministry officially to revoke ban on any of the apps listed in the ban list,” the ministry said in a comment to InsideSport. “We will stay away from making any comment on any specific company or app.”

The decision to maintain the ban comes after the PUBG Corporation severed its ties with Tencent Holdings in India on Sept. 8. The company was hoping that distancing itself from the Chinese tech giant would help bring it back into the good graces of the Indian government.

“In light of recent developments, PUBG Corporation has made the decision to no longer authorize the PUBG Mobile franchise to Tencent Games in India,” the company said. “Moving forward, PUBG Corporation will take on all publishing responsibilities within the country. As the company explores ways to provide its own PUBG experience for India in the near future, it is committed to doing so by sustaining a localized and healthy gameplay environment for its fans.”

But the announcement appears to have made no impact on the Indian government’s ban of PUBG Mobile. The ban on PUBG Mobile in India is a big hit to the PUBG Corporation since the game was the most popular and well-established esports title in India. The year after the launch of PUBG Mobile in India, the game acquired over 50 million downloads and held nearly 35 million active users at one point, according to App Annie’s available data.

The recent bans on notable Chinese applications like PUBG Mobile, Clash of Kings, and even TikTok came in response to the rising tensions between India and China. The Sino-Indian relationship took a turn for the worse in June when 20 Indian soldiers were killed in a border clash with Chinese forces in the border area of Eastern Ladakh. When the dust settled, both nations were pointing fingers at the other.

The poor state of relations prompted India to retaliate against Chinese technology companies by banning the distribution of its mobile applications in India, citing security risks. The decision has left the PUBG Corporation squarely in the middle of an international relations debacle where it must now figure out how to keep both sides happy.