After India government announced the ban on PUBG yesterday it became immediately clear that the impact and damage will be severe. However, little did anyone know that the market will respond so fast and so aggressively against Tencent – the Chinese gaming company which owns PUBG.
Tencent reportedly lost $14 billion in its market value as its stock value dropped by 2% on Thursday. The move also broke the chain of consecutive gains that Tencent has recorded recently.
PUBG, one of the most popular mobile gaming apps, is banned by the Indian government along with 118 other Chinese apps citing privacy concerns.
Originally developed by a Korean company, Tencent bought the mobile version of PUBG with expansion plans in China and other markets. The company executed the plan in an impressive fashion and in no time India became the largest country by the number of users. It is estimated that India is now the home of 175 million PUBG users.
The popularity of PUBG can be measured from the fact that Battle Royale title game PUBG Mobile has seen a global revenue of $1.3 billion (Rs 9,731) in the first half of this year despite all odds.
However, in the last few months, PUBG future in India hung in balance as the Indian government decided to shut the door for 59 Chinese apps in June amid the standoff with China at the border. While PUBG managed to skip the first wave of app banning, it caught the attention of authorities who decided to add it in the second list released by the government on Wednesday.
Besides PUBG, apps from Baidu and Xiaomi are also a part of the second list of banned apps in India.
It all started with the face-off between China and India military of China and India in June this year. India accused China trespassing into the Indian side of Line of Actual Control (LAC) with intentions to unilaterally change the status quo. Later in the same month 59 Chinese apps, including hugely popular TikTok and UC Browser, were banned by India. As the tension at the border started escalating once again, India’s decision to ban 118 apps is being seen as a strategic move to create pressure on China.