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PUBG: Former Arunachal MP calls for ban on Battlegrounds India launch

We missed this earlier: Former Member of Parliament and Union Minister of Minority Affairs Ninong Ering called on the government to thwart the re-release of PUBG Mobile in India terming it “Tencent’s indirect way of entering India and capture data and details of Indian citizens”.

In the May 22 letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi , Ering argued that Krafton, the South Korean company that is publishing Battlegrounds Mobile India, the rebranded version of PUBG, continues to have close ties to the Chinese firm Tencent, which was the game’s India publisher when it was banned, following border skirmishes between India and China.

“Tencent is still the publisher and distributor of PUBG Mobile outside India. Very curiously, almost all of Krafton’s Indian employees, including its senior management team, are former Tencent employees who were miraculously all hired by Krafton in December last year and working on [Battlegrounds Mobile India],” Ering alleged.

IGN India reported on May 25 that at least five employees of the Korean company’s Indian operations, including country manager Aneesh Aravind, had come in from Tencent India. “Additionally, Krafton has recently invested in Nodwin Gaming, which according to report will host PUBG on its servers. Nodwin has extensive ongoing ties to Tencent and according to news reports also offers its services in Pakistan and has a team and administrators there, raising massive security concerns,” Ering added.

Ering is not the only Indian National Congress politician to object to the game’s return. Abhishek Manu Singhvi, a spokesperson for the party, accused the government of being a “fan of Chinese tech” by allowing Battlegrounds Mobile India’s relaunch.

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“In the interest of India’s sovereignty and integrity, its defense, security and public order, and to clearly communicate that Indian law is paramount and cannot be sidestepped, I request you to ban Battlegrounds Mobile India and also restrict the entry of such entities in the future without explicit approval from the government,” Ering said in his letter.

YouTuber arrested for racist comments

Shortly after Ering’s letter went public, Paras Singh, a significant PUBG YouTuber in Punjab, put out a video where he questioned Ering’s (and Arunachal Pradesh’s) Indianness. Following the video, Singh was arrested by Ludhiana Police and flown to Itanagar, where he has been put in jail and police reportedly gave him lessons on the India–China border in Arunachal Pradesh, according to EastMojo. Krafton itself has been silent on the issue, per IGN India, even as two other YouTubers reportedly made similarly racist comments, before apologising. “The PUBG maker was quick to condemn [similar] behaviour in US, Latin American, and European markets, making the silence of its Indian team perplexing,” the publication pointed out.

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I cover the digital content ecosystem and telecom for MediaNama.

MediaNama’s mission is to help build a digital ecosystem which is open, fair, global and competitive.

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