Google and Apple pull BGMI game in India following government order

Google and Apple have pulled the popular mobile game Battlegrounds Mobile India, more popularly known as BGMI, from their respective app stores in India to comply with New Delhi’s order, a source familiar with the matter told TechCrunch, a year after developer Krafton launched the app following a ban on similar title PUBG in the South Asian market.

In a statement to TechCrunch, a Google spokesperson confirmed: “On receipt of the order, following established process, we have notified the affected developer and have blocked access to the app that remained available on the Play Store in India.”

The app was delisted by Google from the Play Store and Apple from the App Store in India Thursday evening. The iPhone-maker didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

The development follows a growing tension between India and China, two nuclear-armed neighboring nations that have been at odds since a deadly skirmishes along the Himalayan border in 2020. India reacted by banning hundreds of China-linked apps including PUBG and TikTok, both of which counted India as their largest overseas market by users.

Of the hundreds of apps that New Delhi banned in the country, Krafton’s Pubg was the only title that made a return — though with a completely revamped avatar. Krafton cut ties with its publishing partner Tencent and pledged to invest $100 million in India’s gaming ecosystem. Krafton — which has backed a number of Indian startups including Nodwin Gaming, Loco, Pratilipi and Kuku FM in the past one and a half years — told TechCrunch earlier this week that it was on track to deploy over $140 million in the country by next month.

A Krafton spokesperson in India had no comment Thursday evening.

The company said earlier this week that over 100 million users had signed up for the game in India. According to Sensor Tower, BGMI had over 16.5 million monthly active users in the country.

This is a developing story. Come back for more updates.

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