Thursday, August 18, 2022

The possibilities of BGMI unban & events that happened after ban

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BGMI, the most popular BR game in India, was recently banned by the government under the Section 69(A) of IT Act. Sources close to TalkEsport stated that this ban order is concerned with data privacy issues and BGMI’s links with China.

The ban was put into action three days ago as BGMI was removed from Google Play as well as Apple App Store. TalkEsport was the first to break the news of BGMI ban in India and Krafton being in contact with the officials to resolve this issue. A report by Reuters soon confirmed it and mentioned that the game was banned under IT Act Section 69(A).

the BGMI makers, Krafton Inc., is given a time of 14 days by the authorities to prove their innocence. Sources close to TalkEsport disclosed that Krafton is in the process of providing evidence that clears the data privacy issues and its links with China.

Indian government blocked the access to BGMI under the Section 69(A) of IT Act. Our preliminary report disclosed that the authorities have concerns about data migration policies and its Chinese connections. The official action was taken soon and Krafton has been working with the authorities since then to bring the game back in India.

So Read| Krafton CEO responds to BGMI ban; says working with authorities to resolve it

IMPACT OF BGMI BAN IN INDIA

Battlegrounds Mobile India was the biggest esports title in India before it was blocked by the Indian Govt. a couple of days ago. This ban has adversely impacted the budding esports scene as tournaments came to a halt. Several gamers from the community have questioned this move.

BGMI made a stellar entry in esports after its launch in late 2021. The first official tournament had a prize pool of ₹1 crore and it has only grown from then onwards. Now, several third-party tournaments were lined up with a LAN final and prize pool in crores.

When BGMI was banned, all of these tournaments were paused and some were postponed indefinitely. Questions have raised about how this ban is affecting Indian esports as a whole.

So Read| What is Section 69A Of IT Act?

Hundreds of BGMI pros and thousands of content creators might potentially suffer from this ban as they will have to redirect their attention to a different title altogether.

IMPACT ON KRAFTON INC.

Krafton faced a severe impact of this ban as their share value dropped drastically after the ban was announced. According to a report by Inc42, “Shares of Krafton, developer of Battlegrounds Mobile India (BGMI) game, tumbled as much as 9% on the Korean stock exchange on Friday (July 29) after BGMI was taken down from the Google Play Store and Apple’s App Store in India. Krafton shares ended the session 4.5% lower at 233,500 Korean won ($178.64).”

EVENTS THAT PRECEDED AFTER THE BAN:

Some major events took place following the BGMI in India. There has been a constant back and fourth between the authorities and Krafton officials. The BGMI developers have received a time window of 14 days to prove their innocence. The changes with no definite conclusion has painted a very hazy picture about BGMI’s future in the country.

WHAT IS SECTION 69(A) OF IT ACT

  • it confers on the Central and State governments the power to issue directions “to intercept, monitor or decrypt any information generated, transmitted, received or stored in any computer resource”.
  • the Grounds on which these powers may be exercised are:
    • In the interest of the sovereignty or integrity of India, defense of India, the security of the state.
    • Friendly relations with foreign states.
    • Public order, or for preventing incitement to the commission of any cognizable offense relating to these.
    • For investigating any offense.

The law reads:

69A. Power to issue directions for blocking for public access of any information through any computer resource

(1) Where the Central Government or any of its officers specially authorized by it on this behalf is satisfied that it is necessary or expedient so to do, in the interest of sovereignty and integrity of India, defense of India, security of the State, friendly relations with foreign States or public order or for preventing incitement to the commission of any cognizable offense relating to above, it may be subject to the provisions of sub-section (2), for reasons to be recorded in writing, by order, direct any Agency of the Government or intermediary to block for access by the public or cause to be blocked for access by the public any information generated, transmitted, received, stored or hosted in any computer resource.

(2) The procedure and safeguards subject to which such blocking for access by the public may be carried out; shall be such as may be prescribed.

(3) The intermediary who fails to comply with the direction issued under sub-section (1) shall be punished with an imprisonment for a term which may extend to seven years and also be liable to fine.

Sources close to TalkEsport have informed us that Krafton has presented its case to the government on the independence of its operations and data from Chinese influence.

They have further emphasized that the company’s data and other privacy matters and that the data are not handled irresponsibly.

This new evidence provided to the Indian government can turn into substantial proof for the case of Krafton. If the evidence is considered authentic and establishes that the connection between BGMI and China does not exist, there is a chance that BGMI’s ban might get lifted.

Krafton will also be meeting with MeitY officials in the provided time period to present such evidence and prove their innocence in this case. The provided time is very crucial for BGMI developers as it decides the fate of BGMI.

KRAFTON PLEAS NO CHINESE CONNECTION

Now new information has emerged from the first sitting between the Government and Krafton officials. Sources close to TalkEsport have informed us that Krafton has presented its case to the government on the independence of its operations and data from Chinese influence.

They have further emphasized that the company’s data and other privacy matters and that the data are not handled irresponsibly.

This new evidence provided to the Indian government can turn into substantial proof for the case of Krafton. If the evidence is considered authentic and establishes that the connection between BGMI and China does not exist, there is a slight chance that BGMI’s ban might get lifted.

PUBG MOBILE MAKEOVER, BGMI

BGMI Ban in India is in the backdrop of the Indian Government’s stern action against Chinese apps. The first wave of ban was reported in 2020 when the authorities overnight banned 59 Chinese apps flagging ‘data concern and a security threat to the nation.’

Evidently, the PUBG Mobile Indian community was in a dire state to which Krafton, the creator, responded by pulling off licensing from Chinese giant Tencent.

Ever since, there were news reports on Krafton working on a war footing to re-launch a custom-made PUBG Mobile India under the banner of BGMI, which would address all issues of the Government.

The authorities, however, appear to not be in a state of any delusion and have spotted the Chinese connection between Krafton’s newly packed BGMI for the Indian community, hence the ban.

KRAFTON RESPONSES TO THE BAN ORDER

Krafton India has released an official statement addressing the current issue of BGMI ban in India. In a statement addressed to every BGMI player, the CEO of Krafton India has made some assurances and confirmed that they are working with the authorities to resolve this matter.

The entire statement reads as follows:

Dear Patron of BGMI, We are committed to the Indian market and are positive about the opportunities in the country. At KRAFTON, Inc. the security and privacy of our user data is of utmost importance to us. We have always been compliant with all laws and regulations in India including data protection laws and regulations and will continue abiding by them. We thank you for all the love and support you have shown us in our journey uptill here and hope to continue our association in the future as well. There may be questions in your minds regarding the current situation about the country's most loved game- BGMI. In line with this, we have been working hard to communicate our sincerity with the concerned authorities and resolve the issues. We kindly request you to wait to hear from us. We will keep you informed about further updates. We look forward to strengthening our partnerships and collectively fostering the gaming ecosystem in India. Thank you - Sean Hyunil Sohn CEO, KRAFTON, Inc India

POSSIBILITY OF BGMI UNBAN IN INDIA

The future of BGMI in India is very uncertain right now as there are so many variables at play on the same time. Looking at all the facts presented until now, there is a strong possibility that BGMI may get unbanned after the meetings are concluded by the next weekend.

Krafton has already assured its fan base that they are engaging with authorities and will be working to solve any issues that may linger around the game. If they are able to prove their innocence that the game has no Chinese connections, the game will easily return to the market.

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