'PUBG Mobile' will escape India ban by cutting out Tencent

Since June, India has banned 177 apps with ties to China.

Adnan Abidi / reuters

Last week, India banned another 118 apps with links to China. PUBG Mobile Lite and PUBG Mobile Nordic Map were included in that sweeping ban. Now, PUBG Corporation says it’s looking for ways to bring the apps back to India.

The South Korean company was included in the ban because the mobile games are published by China’s Tencent. In a statement shared today, PUBG Corporation said it will no longer use Tencent Games to publish the PUBG Mobile franchise in India. According to TechCrunch, prior to the ban, PUBG Mobile had more than 40 million monthly active users in India, so there’s a strong incentive to restore the game.

“Moving forward, PUBG Corporation will take on all publishing responsibilities within the country,” it said. “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.”

Since June, India has banned 177 China-linked apps. The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology says it is doing so “in the interest of sovereignty and integrity of India, defense of India and security of the State.” It has expressed concern over how user data is used and stored.

The US is also considering banning apps with links to China. President Trump ordered TikTok owner ByteDance to sell off its US business and issued an executive order to ban Tencent’s WeChat. The orders will most likely be challenged in court and complicated by the fact that Tencent has investments in several US companies, including Snapchat’s parent company, Riot Games and Epic Games. It also publishes PUBG Mobile in the US.