KRAFTON Inc, the South Korean video game company, and maker of BATTLEGROUNDS MOBILE INDIA (BGMI), seems to be finding it tough to delink itself from its erstwhile Chinese origin. PRAHAR, a non-profit organisation working in the area of socio-economic development, has written a letter to the ministry of home affairs (MHA) and ministry of electronics and information technology (MEIT) asking for ban on Battlegrounds Mobile India (BGMI) under section 69A of the Information Technology Act. The NGO wants the app to be banned on the ground that it poses a threat to the sovereignty and integrity of India.
The request to block the app comes days after the government announced a ban on 54 Chinese apps on February 14, 2022. The NGO has urged the government to add BGMI to the list of 54 Chinese apps. It claims that Krafton, the South Korean studio that publishes BGMI, is a front company of China’s leading internet company Tencent Holdings.
“Tencent Holdings had launched PUBG in India, and it was one of the most downloaded games at the time of its ban in 2020. In less than a year, PUBG was re-introduced in India by a front company of Tencent – Krafton under the new name BGMI — a move that was clearly meant to circumvent the Indian policymakers,” says PRAHAR in the letter.
The letter further claims that Tencent is the second-largest shareholder of Krafton with 15.5% stocks.