Since mid-2020, India has banned more than 300 apps over similar concerns.
what you need to know
- The Indian government has banned another 54 apps from China.
- Some of the newly banned apps include Garena’s Free Fire, Tencent’s Xriver, AppLock and Astracraft.
- Many of these apps are rebadged versions of apps banned in India in 2020.
India bans Garena on February 14 Fire of Liberty: Illuminate And 53 other Chinese apps that clearly pose a threat to national security.
Indian government bans 54 Chinese apps, including Tencent-owned apps and beauty camera selfie app
– Bar and benches (@barandbench) February 14, 2022
Free Fire is one of the most popular Android games in the world right now. The game is owned by Singapore-based Sea Ltd., which is backed by China’s Tencent. Last month, the WeChat founder slashed his stake in Sea from 21.3% to 18.7%. However, it remains Sea Ltd.’s largest shareholder.
Free Fire was the highest-grossing mobile game in India in Q3 2021, according to App Annie. It was also the most downloaded game worldwide in December 2021.
Some other apps that have been removed from the Google Play Store and Apple App Store at the request of the Indian government include AppLock, Beauty Camera, Sweet Selfie HD, Tencent’s Xriver, Astracraft and Dual Space Lite. Many of these apps are clones or rebranded versions of apps that India banned in mid-2020.
India banned TikTok, WeChat and 57 other apps from China in June 2020 after clashes on the India-China border in the Galwan Valley. Just a few weeks later, India banned PUBG, Baidu and 116 other apps that linked to China.
Shortly after the ban was announced, Kafton cut ties with Tencent Games and announced plans to relaunch the game in the country. Last June, the game finally returned to India as Battlegrounds Mobile India, offering new features designed specifically for Indian gamers.