Google blocks Krafton’s battle-royale game in India, cites govt ban

A Google signal is pictured outdoors the Google workplace in Berlin, Germany, August 31, 2021. REUTERS/Annegret Hilse/File Photo

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NEW DELHI, July 29 (Reuters) – Alphabet Inc’s ( GOOGL.O ) Google blocked entry on Thursday to a well-liked battle-royale format game from South Korean developer Krafton ( 259960.KS ), citing an order from the Indian authorities.

Krafton shares slumped greater than 9% on the information on Friday, shortly paring losses to commerce down 5.7%.

In an announcement, the US expertise large stated India had ordered that the Battlegrounds Mobile India (BGMI) game be blocked, forcing it to take away the app from its Play Store.

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The game’s web site confirmed it had greater than 100 million customers in India. The block comes after India’s 2020 ban of one other Krafton title, PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG).

“On receipt of the order, following the established course of, now we have notified the affected developer and have blocked entry to the app,” a Google spokesperson stated.

BGMI was additionally unavailable on Apple Inc’s (AAPL.O) App Store on Thursday night in India.

The motive for the block was not instantly clear.

In Seoul, a Krafton spokesperson stated the developer was speaking to related authorities and firms to determine the precise state of affairs concerning the suspension in the 2 main app shops in India.

Local representatives of Apple and India’s IT ministry didn’t instantly reply to requests for remark outdoors common enterprise hours.

A supply with direct information of the matter stated Google had acquired the federal government takedown order in the final 24 hours.

India cited safety dangers when banning PUBG however the transfer was broadly seen as fallout from deteriorating enterprise ties with China. At the time, China’s Tencent held the publishing rights for PUBG in India.

The crackdown was a part of New Delhi’s ban of greater than 100 cellular apps of Chinese origin, following a months-long border standoff between the nuclear-armed rivals.

The ban has since expanded to cowl greater than 300 apps.

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Reporting by Munsif Vengattil and Aditya Kalra in New Delhi; Additional reporting by Nupur Anand and Joyce Lee in Seoul; Editing by Kirsten Donovan and Clarence Fernandez

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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