Battlegrounds Mobile India (BGMI) was banned from the India-specific Google Play and Apple App Store last week. Although the action title’s maker, Krafton, has not yet officially clarified its situation, it appears that the ban was made following a government order, as a Google spokesperson pointed out. A separate Reuters report then claimed that BGMI’s access to app stores was blocked under Section 69A of the Information Technology Act and links to China. The central government had banned its older version, PUBG Mobile India, under the same section. A new report now claims that Krafton India CEO Sean Hyunil Sohn has released a statement on BGMI’s “banning”.
Sean Hyunil Sohn’s statement has apparently been shared internally with the Indian esports community. A copy of the statement was shared by Rushindra Sinha, owner of Global Esports, on Twitter. The message stresses that the company is “working hard” to communicate with the “relevant authorities and resolve the issues”.
The Krafton India CEO’s statement adds, “We have always complied with all laws and regulations in India, including data protection laws and regulations, and we will continue to comply with them.”
Why was BGMI removed from Google Play and the Apple App Store?
A Reuters report pointed out that BGMI, like PUBG Mobile, has been blocked under Section 69A of the Information Technology Act. The law empowers the government to restrict access to any content in the interest of “the sovereignty and integrity of the country”. Several Chinese apps including TikTok, ShareIt, CamScan, WeChat, etc.
A separate News18 report citing unnamed officials notes that the delisting (or ban) was triggered by an internal report from the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) to the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (Meity ).
The maintainer also pointed out in the post that “the app contains malicious code and also acquires a host of critical permissions, which could be misused to compromise user data for camera/microphone monitoring, followed by location and malicious network activities”.
Several lawmakers have also questioned the mental impact of BGMI and other action games on children, following a murder case in Lucknow.
What did BGMI say after it was removed from Google Play and Apple’s App Store?
At the time of its removal, Krafton had shared a statement with India Today Tech saying, “We are clarifying how BGMI was removed from the Google Play Store and App Store and will let you know once we get specific information.”
India Today Tech has contacted the company again for the latest updates. We’ll update the section with the company’s response.
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