PUBG Mobile will terminate access for users in India starting Friday, October 30. The move comes nearly two months after the government banned the highly popular battle royale game along with its lightweight version PUBG Mobile Lite, and other 116 apps in early September. That ban brought the removal of PUBG Mobile and PUBG Lite from Google Play and Apple App Store in the country, though both games remained accessible for users who already had them installed on their phones and tablets. This was unlike most of the other banned apps that all became inaccessible following the ban was imposed in the country.
On Thursday, PUBG Mobile announced through its official Facebook page in India that Tencent Games, the existing publishing and distribution partner of the game in the country, would terminate all service and access for Indian users to both PUBG Mobile Nordic Map: Livik and PUBG Mobile Lite.
India banned PUBG Mobile and PUBG Mobile Lite along with other apps with their links to China. The ban was imposed under section 69A of the Information Technology Act and was projected “in the interest of sovereignty and integrity” of the country.
“This move will safeguard the interests of crores of Indian mobile and internet users,” The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology had said in a press release announcing the ban in September.
Shortly after the restriction came into force by the government, PUBG Corporation announced that it had decided to no longer authorise the PUBG Mobile franchise to Shenzhen-based Tencent Games in India and take over all its publishing responsibilities within India. That move was in response to the concerns over the role of the Chinese company. However, it did not help bring any changes to the ban.
As a result of the latest change, PUBG Mobile apps will no longer be accessible in India. It is, however, unclear whether users would continue to play the game using a virtual private network (VPN).
“We deeply regret this outcome, and sincerely thank you for your support and love for PUBG Mobile in India,” the game said on its Facebook page.
Should the government explain why Chinese apps were banned? We discussed this on Orbital, our weekly technology podcast, which you can subscribe to via Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, or RSS, download the episode, or just hit the play button below.