Battlegrounds Mobile India was just about to be launched in a few weeks, and it has already started facing opposition from politicians citing cliche reasons. Arunachal Pradesh MLA Ninong Ering alleged in a letter to PM Narendra Modi that Battlegrounds Mobile India was just an "eyewash" and PUBG Mobile was being "relaunched" in India.
Requested @PMOIndia @narendramodi ji to not allow Chinese deception #BattlegroundsMobileIndia. It is a big threat to security of India & privacy of our citizens and a way to circumvent & disregard our laws.@AmitShah #IndiaBanBattlegrounds #NationFirst #AatmaNirbharBharat @ANI pic.twitter.com/H8nzUJ4aRk— Ninong Ering (@ninong_erring) May 22, 2021
He added that the launch of BGMI was somehow unlawful. The truth, however, is that the government has clarified time and again that PUBG Mobile was never banned. Besides, Battlegrounds Mobile India is a different entity altogether.
Surprisingly, Mr Ering also put forward some wild conspiracy theory according to which, Krafton was going to share users' data with Tencent, which owns 15.5% share in the former. He said, "Tencent is currently the second-largest stakeholder and has a 15.5% stake in Krafton. It's stake was only 10% in 2018 and it may soon have a majority stake and contril", yeah with a misspelling 'contril'.
Unlike what Mr. MLA said, Tencent always gives freedom to it's subsidiaries and does not force anything, sources familiar with the industry tell us. So, I don't see an issue, neither does the government (more on this later in the post), with Tencent even if it becomes the majority stakeholder in Krafton.
It would be an epitome of hypocrisy if Tencent is the concern
As I said earlier, the government does not seem to have a problem with Tencent, or as it seems, because at least 10 fat India corporations with Tencent's funding are functioning without an issue. Byju's, Ola, Dream 11, Flipkart, Swiggy, and Gaana are some of them. Tencent had invested $62.8 million in Flipkart alone.
NODWIN Gaming is a 'massive security concern'?
The minister raised concerns over NODWIN Gaming operating in Pakistan and termed it 'massive security concern'. However, upon research, we found out many Indian conglomerates which are operating in Pakistan. The big names include, Dabur, Vini International (the makers of Fogg and other cosmetics) among others.
That's not all, Pakistani nationals hold share in at least 577 Indian companies, out of which 109 companies are listed on the stock exchange, according to a report by Mint. Some of the big such Indian companies include Cipla, Wipro, ACC, and Dalmia. Pakistani and Bangladeshi individuals hold at least ₹ 2,641.97 crore in Indian listed companies (109).
I don't see a problem with NODWIN Gaming operating in Pakistan, do you? We live in a free world, Mr. MLA.
After Mr. Ninong Ering, another MP Abhishek Singhvi followed suit
Instead of fighting pandemic, govt is allowing PUBG 2divert youth's attention.Govt 1st banned it &then allowed indirect entry to company with 15.5% Chinese stake.— Abhishek Singhvi (@DrAMSinghvi) May 19, 2021
I haven't seen a bigger fan of Chinese tech than parts of this govt .#BJPToolkitExposedhttps://t.co/XLCUpXhSLl
The minister alleges that the government is allowing Battlegrounds Mobile India to divert 'youth's attention' which is incoherent as to diverting attention from what, and bullshit because the government, or anybody, can not go around schooling around what to do.
Now, can the government ban Battlegrounds Mobile India, or does it even need their nod?
According to various media reports, the government had said that apps or games do not need permission to service in India. As put forward by Rishi Alwani of IGN India, approval of apps falls to Apple and Google, both of which follow international ratings boards as well as best practices for the country (which is why gambling apps aren’t treated as gaming by either of them — much to the chagrin of some companies).
But can the Indian government ban Battlegrounds Mobile India? The answer is no, until Krafton follows all set rules and regulations.