Battlegrounds Mobile India (BGMI) was on July 28 abruptly removed from Google Play Store and Apple App Store based on government orders. BGMI is the Indian version of the popular battle-royale game PUBG, which was banned in India in 2020 as part of a larger ban on Chinese apps amidst tensions at the border. But the game made a comeback in July 2021 with a new name, some censorship, and under the distribution of South Korean developer Krafton (earlier it was published by the Chinese company Tencent). It is not clear why BGMI has been banned this time around. "On receipt of the order, following established process, we have notified the affected developer and have blocked access to the app," a Google spokesperson told Reuters. Meanwhile, a Krafton spokesperson told the Economic Times: "We are clarifying how BGMI was removed from the Google Play store and the App store and will let you know once we get specific information.” Why does this matter? The lack of transparency in how and why the government banned the game is concerning given that the same powers can be used to unfairly remove any number of apps or content from the online world. Besides, this sends a bad signal to international companies looking to explore the Indian market given the uncertainties they might face. How popular is the game? As of June 2022, BGMI surpassed 100 million users in India."BGMI’s first year has been a resounding success with millions of players joining to experience the game. We have brought…
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