BGMI game no different from Tencent-run PUBG, India ban welcomed

In March, Prahar had also written an open letter to the Chinese billionaire Pony Ma, founder of Tencent Holdings.

New Delhi: As the Indian government ordered Google and Apple to block the Battlegrounds Mobile India (BGMI) gaming app from their respective online stores, non-profit organisation Prahar on Friday welcomed the move, saying BGMI was no different from erstwhile PUBG (PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds).

In February this year, Prahar had written to the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) and the IT Ministry (MeitY) to block the “Chinese app BGMI” under the section 69A of the Information Technology Act, as it “poses a threat to the sovereignty and integrity of India, defence of India, security of the state, and public order”.

“Since February this year, we have raised the fact that BGMI and the banned PUBG are one and the same. In the so-called new avatar, the BGMI was no different from erstwhile PUBG with Tencent still controlling it in the background,” Abhay Mishra, President of Prahar, said in a statement.

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“We are grateful to the government for taking this step in the interest of security and sovereignty of India,” he added.

Swadeshi Jagran Manch (SJM) said the government should thoroughly investigate “the antecedents and China influence” of the BGMI-PUBG app and take “immediate action if found in violation”.

In March, Prahar had also written an open letter to the Chinese billionaire Pony Ma, founder of Tencent Holdings.

The letter demanded answers to 10 questions on the antecedents and covert linkages between Krafton, the company which is the current face of BGMI in India and Tencent, the former banned owner of PUBG.

“There was radio silence from Pony Ma,” said Mishra.

BGMI game developer Krafton said on Friday that it is clarifying how Apple and Google app stores removed the BGMI app from their respective app stores in the country.

Google and Apple on Thursday pulled popular battle royale game BGMI from their respective app stores, following a government order.

“On receipt of the order, following the established process, we have notified the affected developer and have blocked access to the app that remained available on the Play Store in India,” a Google spokesperson had told IANS.

Apple also removed the app from its App Store after receiving the government order.

Earlier this month, the game developer announced that its BGMI had surpassed 100 million registered users.

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