Ering urges PM to stop relaunch of PUBG by another name

ITANAGAR, 22 May: Pasighat West MLA Ninong Ering has written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, urging him to take steps to stop the relaunch of PUBG in India, saying that, “according to recent media reports, unscrupulous companies connected to PUBG, including Krafton, Tencent and PUBG India Pvt Ltd, are trying to sidestep our laws, deceive the government and Indian citizens and relaunch the game with a new name of Battlegrounds Mobile India (BMI).”

Last year, the Centre had taken the decision to ban over 260 foreign apps and websites as these apps were “engaging in activities that were prejudicial to the sovereignty and integrity of India, defence of India, security of India and public order in India,” Ering said in a letter to the PM on Saturday.

“If the game is allowed to relaunch, in that case, there is a very high potential of a breach of privacy and cybersecurity of our citizens, and all the other risks of addiction, harm, deaths that

were seen with PUBG before,” Ering said, adding that it would also be a complete disregard of the Indian laws and the ban order passed last year.

“In the interest of India’s sovereignty and integrity, its defence, security and public order, and to clearly communicate that Indian law is paramount and cannot be sidestepped, I request you to ban Battlegrounds Mobile India and also restrict the entry of such entities in the future without explicit approval from the government,” the MLA said.

He said “this is a mere illusion and a trick to relaunch the same game with minor modifications and collect user data of millions of our citizens, including our children’s, and transfer it to foreign companies and the Chinese government.”

“The Supreme Court of India has repeatedly reiterated that what cannot be done directly cannot be indirectly done. However, in this case, Krafton and Tencent (the creators of PUBG) are trying to do precisely that. A banned app cannot be allowed to relaunch just by giving a makeover and a new name. Apart from cosmetic changes, which are eyewash, this is nothing but a circumvention of Indian laws. If this is allowed, it will lead others, including TikTok and WeChat, to reenter the country,” Ering said.