South Korea’s Krafton introduced Battlegrounds Mobile India (BGMI) in India in July 2021. It is the Indian version of Krafton’s PUBG Mobile, which is no longer available in India. To the unversed, PUBG Mobile was banned along with other Chinese apps by the Indian government in September 2020. After the PUBG ban, the company launched BGMI as an India-focused online multiplayer battle royale game. The game surpassed 100 million downloads on the Google Play Store in July this year. However, the game was delisted from the Play Store and Apple App Store on July 28 following a government order.
Here is everything you must know about why BGMI was banned in India:
Why is BGMI banned in India?
In 2022, the government of India banned PUBG Mobile and several Chinese apps under Section 69A of the Information Technology Act, 2000. The same act has been used to ban BGMI in India, according to an IANS report.
According to News 18, the decision to remove BGMI from Google and Apple app stores was taken after several rounds of investigations by Indian authorities. It further said that a report submitted by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) to the Ministry of Electronics‘ central intelligence agency and communication to the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (Meity) resulted in BGMI’s ban.
A senior government official said that the app has been communicating with servers directly or indirectly situated in China. It has also been found that some of the banned Chinese apps have been rebranded and are communicating with servers in China. Since there is a possibility that these apps, including BGMI, can collect data like location, audio, and other sensitive information, they are under scrutiny.
Google confirmed that it had delisted the game after informing Krafton. According to a Google spokesperson, “On receipt of the order, following established process, we have notified the affected developer and have blocked access to the app that remained available on the Play Store in India.”
Krafton CEO’s statement on BGMI ban
After the ban, Krafton India CEO Sean Hynuil Sohn released an official statement, “Dear Patron of BGMI, we are committed to the Indian market and are positive about the opportunities in the country. At KRAFTON Inc., the security and privacy of our user data are of utmost importance to us. We have always been compliant with all laws and regulations in India, including data protection laws and regulations, and will continue abiding by them,” said Sean Hyunil Sohn.
“We thank you for all the love and support you have shown us in our journey up till here, and hope to continue our association in the future as well. There may be questions in your minds regarding the current situation about the country’s most loved game – BGMI. In line with this, we have been working hard to communicate our sincerity with the concerned authorities and resolve the issues.”
“We kindly request you to wait to hear from us. We will keep you informed about further updates. We look forward to strengthening our partnerships and collectively fostering the gaming ecosystem in India.” Sohn added.
Is BGMI still playable after the ban?
While BGMI has been removed from the Google Play Store and Apple App Store, users who have already installed the game before the ban are still able to play it. This indicates that the Indian servers of the game are still active, and a full-fledged ban hasn’t been imposed yet.
Android users can still install the game through its APK file available on the internet. However, readers should note that downloading APK files from shady websites can result in installing malware on the device. Another way to install the game on an Android device is by extracting the BGMI APK file from a device on which the game is already installed by using an app like the APK Extractor. At present, there is no workaround to download BGMI on the iPhone.
When will the BGMI ban be lifted?
The Indian government has released an official on the BGMI ban. Hence, it is unclear whether the ban is temporary or permanent. The official statement released by the company shows that the company is keen on complying with the government to remove the ban.