PUBG Mobile ban: Countries that launched crackdown against this popular game
PUBG Mobile ban. PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds was not the first battle royale game in the gaming world, but it brought into the survival game that aspect that throws players into a battle against each other. Needless to say, PUBG Mobile has quickly become one of the hottest games in the genre since its launch in 2017. PUBG Mobile and PUBG Mobile Lite downloads have skyrocketed during coronavirus pandemic when everyone was stuck at home. However, this very popularity has brought the attention of regulators and governments around the world on it too. So much so that PUBG Mobile and PUBG Mobile Lite has been slapped with bans by a number of countries even as others are considering a ban. The reason being cited to ban PUBG Mobile are from its very ownership to its addictive gameplay. The latest to order a ban on PUBG Mobile has been a court in Bangladesh. What is more, even China has launched a crackdown against online games and this has forced companies to issue new rules that restrict the number of hours and days children can play these games. Still, PUBG Mobile remains one of the most popular battle royale games on smartphones in almost every region the game is available in globally.
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Here's a list of countries where PUBG Mobile was banned, and the reasons that were given at the time the restrictions were put in place. In some regions like India and China, similar games later emerged, in compliance with local regulations, while the game remains banned in other places. PUBG Mobile India was replaced by Battlegrounds Mobile India, while PUBG Mobile was replaced by Game For Peace in China.
The latest addition to the list, a High Court in Bangladesh on August 16 banned the popular battle royale game, PUBG Mobile, according to a report by Bangladeshi news outlet The Daily Star. The court has directed the government to block access to “destructive” online games and apps like TikTok, Likee, Bigo Live, PUBG and Free Fire for the next three months, according to the report. The court has also reportedly directed the government to explain why these apps should not be banned within 10 days.
The Government of India last year banned over 100 apps in the country linked to China over national security concerns and this included PUBG Mobile India and PUBG Mobile Lite. It had links with China's Tencent. The banned apps included a long list including PUBG Mobile, TikTok and many other popular apps that were widely in use in the country. While most of these apps continue to remain banned in India, PUBG Mobile's Indian avatar Battlegrounds Mobile India was recently launched in the country for Android in July, with the iOS version arriving on August 18 by South Korean company, Krafton.
Another country that banned PUBG Mobile game is Nepal – the country had asked the Nepal Telecommunications Authority (NTA) to oversee the blocking of the game at the ISP and mobile network level. However, the ban was short-lived and was soon reversed by the country's Supreme Court that ordered the ban to be lifted after a number of petitions challenged the block in court, arguing that the citizens of Nepal were entitled to play PUBG Mobile game under the freedoms provided by the Nepali constitution.
Back in 2019, Jordan banned the PUBG Mobile in the kingdom citing the “negative effects” on the kingdom's citizens. News reports at the time of the ban quoted a source in the region's Telecommunications Regulatory Authority stating that the game "had negative effects on its users, which led to its being officially blocked", while psychologists in the country had also reportedly warned that the game encouraged bullying and violence.
Even though Chinese giant Tencent Mobile has a stake in PUBG Mobile, the game is not allowed in China due to the violence that is part of the normal gameplay. However, they do have a version of the game that was released in compliance with the government regulations, called Game for Peace. This means that users in China are unable to download the PUBG Mobile “global” version and cannot play with other users in other countries.