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Battlegrounds Mobile India get BAN ? Lok Sabha MP demands Scrutiny of Krafton-Tencent relationship


Battlegrounds Mobile India launch is inching close and the hype surrounding the game is reaching new levels with every teaser image/video that the company posts on its special media handles. As much as the launch is anticipated, there are also calls on a Battlegrounds Mobile India ban from politicians. This time, Nizamabad, Telangana, Lok Sabha MP, Arvind Dharampuri has written to IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad regarding the Battlegrounds Mobile India launch. The letter was sent on June 2nd mentioned that Dharampuri has received a representation against the game by Nizamabad-based social activist Sai Kumar, according to Zee News.

The letter doesn’t specifically ask for a Battlegrounds Mobile India ban but it highlights the issues with the game that the Indian government needs to look at closely. According to the representation, while Battlegrounds Mobile India stores data in India and Singapore, it also allows for international data transfers. The Terms of Service will be governed by the laws of South Korea, which is where Krafton is based. Interestingly, Dharampuri has also asked the Union Minister to look into Krafton’s investments and agreements with Tencent for the sake of scrutiny.

This isn’t the first time a government official had given a representation against the Battlegrounds Mobile India game. Arunachal Pradesh MLA Ninong Ering had asked the central government to ban the game in the country. MP Abhishek Singhvi demanded a Battlegrounds Mobile India ban, stating the release of the game would allow for Tencent’s re-entry in India.

The game is being marketed as an Indian game, developed only for India, can be played only by users in India, will be hosted on servers in Singapore and India, and Krafton/ Tencent have a full team here, one needs to ask the need for sending the data to other countries and why are the South Korean laws applicable. However, given the huge Tencent stake in Krafton, it will be contractually bound to transfer this data and MP Arvind Dharampuri have requested the Union Minister to ask Krafton to share its investment and shareholder agreement with Tencent for government scrutiny and to dispel this suspicion.

Multiple countries including all the Quad members are examining Tencent investment in firms in their country as national security concerns, and since Krafton’s IPO is imminent Tencent needs to find new markets to grow and gain from this IPO. The relaunch seems like a way to sidestep the ban and circumvent laws, which should not be allowed.

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