On July 28th, the app was removed from Alphabet Inc’s Google Play Store and Apple Store. BGMI had over 100 million users in India. The ban comes as a blow to most esports players as another popular game by Krafton was banned under the same pretense-PUBG.
The Indian Govt. has invoked Section 69A of the IT Act, 2000, which allows the government to block public access to content in the interest of national security. Orders that are issued under this section are kept confidential.
The government is yet to deliver a public statement acknowledging the move. Krafton Inc. is a South Korean company backed by the Chinese company Tencent. The Indian government initiated the removal of apps based on data mining threats after a border standoff spanning months between the two-armed rivals. The ban has since expanded to over 300 apps, including “free fire.” This news sent shares of Krafton into a deep plunge. The company accounted for a high single-digit percentage of its revenue in the first quarter of this year.
The ban has elicited strong online reactions on Twitter and YouTube from e-athletes, gamers, and content creators in India, as their livelihood is at stake for many of them.