PUBG Mobile ban extends to two more Indian cities – International Business Times

What happened: Four cities in the western Indian state of Gujarat have banned Tencent’s hit game “PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds Mobile” (PUBG Mobile), the International Business Times reported on Wednesday. Two cities initiated a ban earlier this month that will last until the end of April, and the remaining two cities banned the game beginning on Wednesday that will be in place until Mar. 30. Residents will be not be arrested for playing the game, but may risk detention if resistant to efforts by authorities to stop game use, according to the report. Reasons for the ban were not specified, but it is suspected to be a countermeasure to several cases of violence related to the game involving minors.

Why it’s important: Though limited in scale, the ban could be reason enough for Tencent to step up its regulations on gaming activities for minors. Tencent is unable to monetize the game in China pending approval from the country’s content regulator but it is highly popular in international markets. According to mobile app intelligence firm Sensor Tower, “PUBG Mobile” was the highest-grossing Chinese mobile game in overseas markets in February. With the prospects of being granted a license in the next few months still uncertain, ensuring stable revenues from other markets is a priority for Tencent.

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Tony Xu

Tony Xu is Shanghai-based tech reporter. Connect with him via e-mail: tony.xu@technode.com