Krafton, a South Korean game developer, has received approval from India to re-launch its popular mobile game Battlegrounds Mobile India (BGMI) for a trial period, following a 10-month ban.
A representative from Krafton stated that South Korea’s foreign affairs and culture ministries engaged in discussions with their Indian counterparts to assist in lifting the ban.
The Indian government had initially blocked BGMI, Krafton’s flagship game, in July of the previous year due to concerns about data-sharing and mining activities associated with China. Krafton is supported by China’s Tencent, which holds approximately a 13.5 percent stake in the company.
The trial approval for a three-month period was granted after BGMI addressed concerns related to server locations and data security, as stated by Rajeev Chandrasekhar, the Indian deputy minister for Information Technology, in a tweet.
Jeeeun Lee, an analyst at Daishin Securities, believes that any impact on Krafton from political tensions with China will be limited. Jeeeun Lee expressed that it would be challenging for India to impose a complete ban on Chinese-affiliated companies like Krafton, considering they operate through local corporations that employ Indian workers.
During its availability on Alphabet’s Google Play Store and Apple’s App Store, BGMI had amassed over 100 million users in India. A Facebook page for the game mentioned that it would soon be available for download.
Rajeev Chandrasekhar said the government will closely monitor any potential user harm or addiction issues during the trial period before making a final decision.
It is worth noting that in 2020, New Delhi had banned another Krafton title, PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG), which led to the launch of BGMI. This ban was part of a broader restriction on over 300 Chinese apps, including TikTok, a short-video platform, following increased scrutiny of Chinese businesses by the Indian government after a clash between the two countries in 2020.
The government has also intensified its examination of investments made by Chinese firms in Indian companies.