With the PUBG Mobile ban, the government on Wednesday delivered what many Indian parents had been waiting to hear for months now, while leaving their children shocked.
Even before the government banned TikTok, along with 58 other Chinese apps in June, sporadic demands for PUBG ban had surfaced on several platforms from time to time.
While some parents complained about the immensely popular video game impacting studies of their kids, some reports of extreme addiction to the game kept many parents and teachers worried about the mental health of their wards.
As these parents heaved a sigh of relief when the government published a fresh list of banned apps, many players of the game are still coming to terms with the new reality.
Aniket Krishnatray, a BTech final year student from Delhi, said he is accepting the decision because of India's border tensions with China.
"Just got to know about the shocking news about PUBG getting banned in India. Though my parents are quite happy with this decision, for me it was disheartening because during lockdown, it was my only tool to get rid of so much of monotony," Krishnatray told IANS.
"Government has banned many apps but we need alternatives at the earliest," he said.
The news of PUBG ban spread like wildfire on social media platforms and within minutes "PUBG Banned" became the top trending topic on Twitter.
Many "PUBG lovers" wrote paeans to the app, even as they lamented the days that they would have to pass without playing the game.
The PUBG game, which has more than 600 million downloads and 50 million active players globally, has millions of users, especially young, in India.
India's move to ban PUBG Mobile and 117 other Chinese apps came after the fresh Chinese aggression in Indian territory at Pangong Tso in eastern Ladakh.
"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," the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) said in a statement, announcing the ban of the apps.
Technology lawyer Mishi Choudhary said that the Indian government has the power to restrict access to the apps under Section 69A of the Information Technology Act.
"Whether 59 apps are banned or 118, all this underscores how technology and geopolitical matters are becoming two strands of a braid," said Choudhary, who is also Founder of SFLC.in, a legal services organisation working on law, technology and policy.
"The data protection law, conspicuous by its absence, has never been more important than now," she said.
Meanwhile, several Indian startups have welcomed the decision.
"The government, time and again, has proved to support the Indian startup ecosystem. This indeed would just motivate the Indian ecosystem, and we would see more Indian companies going global," said Sumit Ghosh, CEO and Co-Founder of short video app Chingari.
"Now Indian business apps will get ample opportunity to empower other local businesses with their technology, which will in turn boost the economy by leaps and bounds," said Sonakshi Nathani, Co-Founder Bikayi App.
Here's the list of all 118 Chinese apps that have been banned in the country:
1. APUS Launcher Pro- Theme, Live Wallpapers, Smart
2. APUS Launcher -Theme, Call Show, Wallpaper, HideApps
3. APUS Security -Antivirus, Phone security, Cleaner
4. APUS Turbo Cleaner 2020- Junk Cleaner, Anti-Virus
5. APUS Flashlight-Free & Bright
6. Cut Cut - Cut Out & Photo Background Editor
8. Baidu Express Edition
9. FaceU - Inspire your Beauty
10. ShareSave by Xiaomi: Latest gadgets, amazing deals
11. CamCard - Business Card Reader
12. CamCard Business
13. CamCard for Salesforce
16. VooV Meeting - Tencent Video Conferencing
17. Super Clean - Master of Cleaner, Phone Booster
18. WeChat reading
19. Government WeChat
20. Small Q brush
21. Tencent Weiyun
23. WeChat Work
24. Cyber Hunter
25. Cyber Hunter Lite
26. Knives Out-No rules, just fight!
27. Super Mecha Champions
29. Dawn of Isles
30. Ludo World-Ludo Superstar
31. Chess Rush
32. PUBG MOBILE Nordic Map: Livik
33. PUBG MOBILE LITE
34. Rise of Kingdoms: Lost Crusade
35. Art of Conquest: Dark Horizon
36. Dank Tanks
38. Game of Sultans
39. Gallery Vault - Hide Pictures And Videos
40. Smart AppLock (App Protect)
41. Message Lock (SMS Lock)-Gallery Vault Developer Team
42. Hide App-Hide Application Icon
44. AppLock Lite
45. Dual Space - Multiple Accounts & App Cloner
46. ZAKZAK Pro - Live chat & video chat online
47. ZAKZAK LIVE: live-streaming & video chat app
48. Music - Mp3 Player
49. Music Player - Audio Player & 10 Bands Equalizer
50. HD Camera Selfie Beauty Camera
51. Cleaner - Phone Booster
52. Web Browser & Fast Explorer
53. Video Player All Format for Android
54. Photo Gallery HD & Editor
55. Photo Gallery & Album
56. Music Player - Bass Booster - Free Download
57. HD Camera - Beauty Cam with Filters & Panorama
58. HD Camera Pro & Selfie Camera
59. Music Player - MP3 Player & 10 Bands Equalizer
60. Gallery HD
61. Web Browser - Fast, Privacy & Light Web Explorer
62. Web Browser - Secure Explorer
63. Music player - Audio Player
64. Video Player - All Format HD Video Player
65. Lamour Love All Over The World
66. Amour- video chat & call all over the world.
67. MV Master - Make Your Status Video & Community
68. MV Master - Best Video Maker & Photo Video Editor
69. APUS Message Center-Intelligent management
70. LivU Meet new people & Video chat with strangers
71. Carrom Friends : Carrom Board & Pool Game-
72. Ludo All Star- Play Online Ludo Game & Board Games
73. Bike Racing : Moto Traffic Rider Bike Racing Games
74. Rangers Of Oblivion : Online Action MMO RPG Game
75. Z Camera - Photo Editor, Beauty Selfie, Collage
76. GO SMS Pro - Messenger, Free Themes, Emoji
77. U-Dictionary: Oxford Dictionary Free Now Translate
78. Ulike - Define your selfie in trendy style
79. Tantan - Date For Real
80. MICO Chat: New Friends Banaen aur Live Chat karen
81. Kitty Live - Live Streaming & Video Live Chat
82. Malay Social Dating App to Date & Meet Singles
85. Mobile Taobao
87. Road of Kings- Endless Glory
88. Sina News
89. Netease News
90. Penguin FM
91. Murderous Pursuits
92. Tencent Watchlist (Tencent Technology
93. Learn Chinese AI-Super Chinese
94. HUYA LIVE - Game Live Stream
95. Little Q Album
96. Fighting Landlords - Free and happy Fighting Landlords
97. Hi Meitu
98. Mobile Legends: Pocket
99. VPN for TikTok
100. VPN for TikTok
101. Penguin E-sports Live assistant
102. Buy Cars-offer everything you need, special offers and low prices
104. Beauty Camera Plus - Sweet Camera & Face Selfie
105. Parallel Space Lite - Dual App
106. "Chief Almighty: First Thunder BC
107. MARVEL Super War NetEase Games
108. AFK Arena
109. Creative Destruction NetEase Games
110. Crusaders of Light NetEase Games
111. Mafia City Yotta Games
112. Onmyoji NetEase Games
113. Ride Out Heroes NetEase Games
114. Yimeng Jianghu-Chu Liuxiang has been fully upgraded
115. Legend: Rising Empire NetEase Games
116. Arena of Valor: 5v5 Arena Games
117. Soul Hunters
118. Rules of Survival
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