Indian authorities continue to ban Chinese apps. They blocked 54 other projects in the country, including Free Fire.
This is reported by the portal from the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology of India. As in all previous cases, the rationale for the ban was a potential threat to the South Asian nation’s national security.
The ban on Free Fire and 53 other apps is temporary. However, it is not clear how long that will last. Note that the Indian government has yet to officially announce the new ban. But Google has confirmed that it has received an order from the Department and has blocked the deprecated apps in its store.
Apple did not comment on the matter, however, it is likely that it has complied with the requirements of the regulator. At least Free Fire is no longer in India’s Google Play.
A person close to Garena (the developer of Free Fire) said that India’s ban came as a nasty surprise for the company. Because the company is preparing deals with local e-sports organizations that could help promote the battle royale game.
Previously, Free Fire was popular in India. According to App Annie in the first half of last year accounted for the number of gamers in this country to spend the most. Also, as of January 2022, more than half of the game’s MAU (average daily players) is 40 million, out of 75 million.
Although Garena is a Singaporean and not a Chinese company, the ban on their project is still indirectly related to China. Garena is a subsidiary of technology group Sea, about 18% of shares owned by Tencent. This is the reason for the ban of Free Fire.
In addition to Free Fire, the list of recently blocked apps in India includes games like Rise of Kingdoms: Lost Crusade, Isoland 2: Ashes of Time, Astracraft, Onmyoji Arena and Conquer Online. Some of the currently banned apps are copies of other projects that were previously banned in India, including Sweet Selfie HD and Beauty Camera.
Indian authorities began banning a series of apps linked to Chinese companies in September 2020. They say the decision was made by protecting the country’s sovereignty and integrity. . Officials say China has illegally transferred sensitive data from Indian users to servers abroad. Since then, more than 300 apps have been blocked in the South Asian country.
So far, only one blocked app is said to have been re-released in India, PUBG Mobile by Krafton.