UPDATE- 1:00AM PT on September 4th
Apple has removed the popular game PUBG from the App Store in India following a government ban announced on Wednesday, 91Mobile reports. Google has also removed the app from the Play Store, however, on Android users may still be able to download the app via alternative methods.
As 91Mobile notes the app still at the time of writing works if users have it installed on their device. That won’t last long given the government will likely begin to block access to the game’s servers, making it truly impossible to play and use.
India has banned more than 100 additional apps with linkage to China including popular mobile game PUBG citing cybersecurity concerns as geopolitical tension between the two neighboring nations continues to rise.
On Wednesday, India’s IT Ministry ordered to ban 118 apps that it said were “prejudicial to sovereignty and integrity of India, Defence of India, Security of State and Public Order.” The move will help “safeguard the interests of crores (tens of millions) of Indian mobile and internet users. This decision is a targeted move to ensure safety, security, and sovereignty of Indian cyberspace,” the ministry said.
India’s Ministry of Electronics and Information says that it has received many complaints about apps on iOS and Android platforms transferring personal user data outside of the country, saying today’s ban is acting upon those complaints. Here’s the full statement from the government:
The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, Government of India invoking it’s power under section 69A of the Information Technology Act read with the relevant provisions of the Information Technology (Procedure and Safeguards for Blocking of Access of Information by Public) Rules 2009 and in view of the emergent nature of threats has decided to block 118 mobile apps (see Appendix) since in view of information available they are engaged in activities which is prejudicial to sovereignty and integrity of India, defence of India, security of state and public order.
The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology has received many complaints from various sources including several reports about misuse of some mobile apps available on Android and iOS platforms for stealing and surreptitiously transmitting users’ data in an unauthorized manner to servers which have locations outside India.
The compilation of these data, its mining and profiling by elements hostile to national security and defence of India, which ultimately impinges upon the sovereignty and integrity of India, is a matter of very deep and immediate concern which requires emergency measures. There has been a strong chorus in the public space to take strict action against Apps that harm India’s sovereignty as well as the privacy of our citizens.
In the interest of sovereignty and integrity of India, defence of India and security of the State. And using the sovereign powers, the Government of India has decided to block the usage of certain Apps, used in both mobile and non-mobile Internet enabled devices.
This move will safeguard the interests of crores of Indian mobile and internet users. This decision is a targeted move to ensure safety, security and sovereignty of Indian cyberspace.