After a 10-month ban, India has given the popular mobile game Battlegrounds Mobile India (BGMI) the permission to relaunch for a trial period, according to South Korean game maker Krafton.
According to a Krafton Inc (259960.KS) spokesman, South Korea’s foreign affairs and culture ministries met with their Indian counterparts to discuss ways to end the ban.
Last July, the Indian authorities barred BGMI, the company’s flagship game, citing worries about data sharing and mining in China.
China’s Tencent (0700.HK), which holds a stake of about 13.5%, supports Krafton.
Rajeev Chandrasekhar, the Indian deputy minister for information technology, said in a tweet that the game’s clearance for a three-month trial period after its compliance with concerns about server locations and data security.
This is a 3 month trial approval of #BGMI aftr it has complied wth issues of server locations n data security etc.
We will keep a close watch on other issues of User harm, Addiction etc in next 3 months before a final decision is taken @GoI_MeitY @PMOIndia https://t.co/9SrYekrHXz
— Rajeev Chandrasekhar 🇮🇳 (@Rajeev_GoI) May 19, 2023
Since they work via a local firm that employs Indian workers, like Krafton, it will be difficult for India to put an outright ban on companies associated with China due to political difficulties, she said.
When the market closed on Friday, shares of Krafton increased 1.45% compared to an increase of 0.89% for the larger KOSPI index.
BGMI had more than 100 million users in India at the time it was taken down from Apple Inc.’s (AAPL.O) App Store and Alphabet Inc.’s (GOOGL.O) Google Play Store.
According to a Facebook page for the game, it will soon be accessible for download.
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Before reaching a final decision, the government would closely monitor other user safety and addiction issues throughout the trial period, Chandrasekhar noted.
In 2020, New Delhi outlawed PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG), which led to the creation of BGMI by the developer.
The government increased its inspection of Chinese companies in the wake of a 2020 conflict between the neighbors, leading to the ban on PUBG as part of a bigger restriction on more than 300 Chinese apps, including the short-video site TikTok.
The government increased its scrutiny of Chinese investments in Indian businesses.