PUBG MobileSource: Harish Jonnalagadda / Android Central

What you need to know

  • The Indian government has banned 118 apps, including PUBG Mobile and PUBG Mobile Lite.
  • The government stated that the apps transmitted user data to elements "hostile" to India's national security.
  • Indian and China are in a terse standoff at the border, with the Indian government previously banning TikTok, WeChat and other services earlier this year.

The Indian government's Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology has banned 118 apps — primarily of Chinese origin — as tensions between India and China escalate. Both countries have engaged in a border skirmish for several months, and the Indian government banned TikTok, WeChat and other services earlier this year.

The latest ban includes 118 apps, with PUBG Mobile and PUBG Mobile Lite standing out in the list. PUBG Mobile is the biggest mobile game in India by some margin, and it has well over 50 million monthly active players. While the desktop version of the game is made by South Korea's Bluehole, the mobile game is developed by Tencent Games.

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The government body stated that the apps included in the list were engaged in activities that were "prejudicial to sovereignty and integrity of India, defence of India, security of state and public order." The agency also stated that these apps were "stealing and surreptitiously transmitting users' data in an unauthorized manner to servers" located outside of India and that this data was being profiled by elements hostile to India.

If the TikTok ban was any indication, PUBG Mobile and PUBG Mobile Lite will be de-listed from the Play Store and App Store in the country over the coming days, and users will be unable to play either game — even while using a VPN. The Indian government is enforcing a blanket ban on Chinese-made apps and services as a way to curb reliance on China, and with tensions between the two countries continuing to escalate, there's no telling where this will go next.

Here's the full list of banned apps:

  • APUS Launcher Pro- Theme, Live Wallpapers, Smart
  • APUS Launcher -Theme, Call Show, Wallpaper, HideApps
  • APUS Security -Antivirus, Phone security, Cleaner
  • APUS Turbo Cleaner 2020- Junk Cleaner, Anti-Virus
  • APUS Flashlight-Free & Bright
  • Cut Cut – Cut Out & Photo Background Editor
  • Baidu
  • Baidu Express Edition
  • FaceU - Inspire your Beauty
  • ShareSave by Xiaomi: Latest gadgets, amazing deals
  • CamCard - Business Card Reader
  • CamCard Business
  • CamCard for Salesforce
  • CamOCR
  • InNote
  • VooV Meeting - Tencent Video Conferencing
  • Super Clean - Master of Cleaner, Phone Booster
  • WeChat reading
  • Government WeChat
  • Small Q brush
  • Tencent Weiyun
  • Pitu
  • WeChat Work
  • Cyber Hunter
  • Cyber Hunter Lite
  • Knives Out-No rules, just fight!
  • Super Mecha Champions
  • LifeAfter
  • Dawn of Isles
  • Ludo World-Ludo Superstar
  • Chess Rush
  • PUBG MOBILE Nordic Map: Livik
  • PUBG MOBILE LITE
  • Rise of Kingdoms: Lost Crusade
  • Art of Conquest: Dark Horizon
  • Dank Tanks
  • Warpath
  • Game of Sultans
  • Gallery Vault - Hide Pictures And Videos
  • Smart AppLock (App Protect)
  • Message Lock (SMS Lock)-Gallery Vault Developer Team
  • Hide App-Hide Application Icon
  • AppLock
  • AppLock Lite
  • Dual Space - Multiple Accounts & App Cloner
  • ZAKZAK Pro - Live chat & video chat online
  • ZAKZAK LIVE: live-streaming & video chat app
  • Music - Mp3 Player
  • Music Player - Audio Player & 10 Bands Equalizer
  • HD Camera Selfie Beauty Camera
  • Cleaner - Phone Booster
  • Web Browser & Fast Explorer
  • Video Player All Format for Android
  • Photo Gallery HD & Editor
  • Photo Gallery & Album
  • Music Player - Bass Booster - Free Download
  • HD Camera - Beauty Cam with Filters & Panorama
  • HD Camera Pro & Selfie Camera
  • Music Player - MP3 Player & 10 Bands Equalizer
  • Gallery HD
  • Web Browser - Fast, Privacy & Light Web Explorer
  • Web Browser - Secure Explorer
  • Music player - Audio Player
  • Video Player - All Format HD Video Player
  • Lamour Love All Over The World
  • Amour- video chat & call all over the world.
  • MV Master - Make Your Status Video & Community
  • MV Master - Best Video Maker & Photo Video Editor
  • APUS Message Center-Intelligent management
  • LivU Meet new people & Video chat with strangers
  • Carrom Friends : Carrom Board & Pool Game-
  • Ludo All Star- Play Online Ludo Game & Board Games
  • Bike Racing : Moto Traffic Rider Bike Racing Games
  • Rangers Of Oblivion : Online Action MMO RPG Game
  • Z Camera - Photo Editor, Beauty Selfie, Collage
  • GO SMS Pro - Messenger, Free Themes, Emoji
  • U-Dictionary: Oxford Dictionary Free Now Translate
  • Ulike - Define your selfie in trendy style
  • Tantan - Date For Real
  • MICO Chat: New Friends Banaen aur Live Chat karen
  • Kitty Live - Live Streaming & Video Live Chat
  • Malay Social Dating App to Date & Meet Singles
  • Alipay
  • AlipayHK
  • Mobile Taobao
  • Youku
  • Road of Kings- Endless Glory
  • Sina News
  • Netease News
  • Penguin FM
  • Murderous Pursuits
  • Tencent Watchlist (Tencent Technology
  • Learn Chinese AI-Super Chinese
  • HUYA LIVE – Game Live Stream
  • Little Q Album
  • Fighting Landlords - Free and happy Fighting Landlords
  • Hi Meitu
  • Mobile Legends: Pocket
  • VPN for TikTok
  • VPN for TikTok
  • Penguin E-sports Live assistant
  • Buy Cars-offer everything you need, special offers and low prices
  • iPick
  • Beauty Camera Plus - Sweet Camera & Face Selfie
  • Parallel Space Lite - Dual App
  • "Chief Almighty: First Thunder BC
  • MARVEL Super War NetEase Games
  • AFK Arena
  • Creative Destruction NetEase Games
  • Crusaders of Light NetEase Games
  • Mafia City Yotta Games
  • Onmyoji NetEase Games
  • Ride Out Heroes NetEase Games
  • Yimeng Jianghu-Chu Liuxiang has been fully upgraded
  • Legend: Rising Empire NetEase Games
  • Arena of Valor: 5v5 Arena Games
  • Soul Hunters
  • Rules of Survival

From the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology:

The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, Government of India invoking it's power under section 69A of the Information Technology Act read with the relevant provisions of the Information Technology (Procedure and Safeguards for Blocking of Access of Information by Public) Rules 2009 and in view of the emergent nature of threats has decided to block 118 mobile apps (see Appendix) since in view of information available they are engaged in activities which is prejudicial to sovereignty and integrity of India, defence of India, security of state and public order.

The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology has received many complaints from various sources including several reports about misuse of some mobile apps available on Android and iOS platforms for stealing and surreptitiously transmitting users' data in an unauthorized manner to servers which have locations outside India.

The compilation of these data, its mining and profiling by elements hostile to national security and defence of India, which ultimately impinges upon the sovereignty and integrity of India, is a matter of very deep and immediate concern which requires emergency measures. There has been a strong chorus in the public space to take strict action against Apps that harm India's sovereignty as well as the privacy of our citizens.

In the interest of sovereignty and integrity of India, defence of India and security of the State. And using the sovereign powers, the Government of India has decided to block the usage of certain Apps, used in both mobile and non-mobile Internet enabled devices.

This move will safeguard the interests of crores of Indian mobile and internet users. This decision is a targeted move to ensure safety, security and sovereignty of Indian cyberspace.