It has been over 5 months since the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MEITY) decided to block the access to PUBG Mobile in India, by stating that the game impinged upon the sovereignty and integrity of the country.
Since then there have been various speculations regarding the comeback of the popular Battle Royale, with PUBG Corporation also trying their level best to bring the game back in the country.
To answer all these questions and clear all the rumours regarding the issue we here at GemWire decided to file an RTI, asking MEITY numerous questions regarding the blockage of PUBG Mobile in India. The content of The RTI filed are as follows:
- Will a new app (PUBG Mobile India) published by a different publisher, having no ties with China and abiding by the regulations of MEITY be subjected to the previous ban placed on the PUBG MOBILE Nordic Map: Livik app? Note: The ban as stated was for a specific application: PUBG MOBILE Nordic Map: Livik, not PUBG as a whole entity.
- Follow up to the first question, if the ban implies to the new application on what basis would that be?
- Is there an open dialogue taking place between MEITY and PUBG Corporation/Krafton INC.
Response to the questions:
- This Ministry has not 'banned' for public access the PUBG Mobile Nordic Map: Livik App under the provisions of Section 69A of the Information Technology Act, 2000.
- Blocking applies to a specific App only.
- No formal dialogue with PUBG/Krafton is held by this Ministry.
Key Takeaways from the response:
It can be concluded that MEITY never "banned" PUBG Mobile in the country, instead they only "blocked" the access of the game under the provisions of Section 69A.
The second and the most important takeaway is the fact the blockage only applies specifically to apps mentioned in the list i.e PUBG MOBILE Nordic Map: Livik (a.k.a Global Version) and PUBG MOBILE LITE and not towards other versions of PUBG Mobile including the Korean version of PUBG Mobile or the PUBG entity as a whole.
The third takeaway from the reply to the RTI is that there has been no formal communication between MEITY and PUBG Corporation/KRAFTON as many other media outlets had speculated.
From the responses that we have got, it can be concluded that if a new application is to be launched, it wouldn't be subjected to the same blockage that the global version faced.