After PUBG ban in India, Chinese company Tencent faces huge loss in market value

Chinese company Tencent Games has lost $14 billion in market value, after the Indian Government banned its operations, along with other 118 Chinese apps, on Wednesday amid tension over fresh Chinese provocation in Ladakh.

According to the IT Ministry, the Apps “are engaged in activities which are prejudicial to sovereignty and integrity of India, defence of India, the security of the state and public order”.

“This decision is a targeted move to ensure safety, security and sovereignty of Indian cyberspace,” the statement said, adding that the move would safeguard the interests of crores of Indian mobile and internet users.

PUBG or PlayerUnknown’s BattleGrounds features a Hunger Games-style competition in which 100 players face off with automatic weapons until there is only one left. Tencent introduced a stripped-down mobile version, which had the game skyrocketing, especially in the time of the coronavirus lockdown.

Tencent’s PUBG Mobile ranks among the world’s top five smartphone games with over 734 million downloads. There are close to 50 million active PUBG players in India, according to reports and the game clocks in some 13 million daily users.

Though PUBG was created by a South Korean gaming company named Bluehole, it was the Chinese gaming company Tencent Games which brought its mobile version. Tencent Games is a part of Tencent Holdings, which is a Chinese multinational conglomerate and holds a 10% stake in PUBG’s parent company Bluehole.

The other Apps blocked include games, online payment services, dating sites and software to edit selfies.

Earlier on June 29, the government had banned 59 Chinese apps, including hugely popular TikTok and UC Browser, saying they were prejudicial to sovereignty, integrity and security of the country.

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Ashwathi Anoopkumar