Why India’s Latest Digital Strike On 118 Apps Is A Big Jolt To China?
New Delhi: Close on the heels of thwarting fresh Chinese transgression bid in Eastern Ladakh, India on Wednesday launched a massive digital strike at China by banning 118 applications based in or supported by the country, including the battle royale sensation PUBG. The game has a mammoth fanbase not only in India; rather it has conquered the entire gaming landscape of south Asia.
The development comes after the military talks on Wednesday with China remained inconclusive over the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) troops’ fresh incursion attempts into India territory. The dialogue between both countries’ militaries will however continue.
The first digital strike by India was done in the wake of the June 15 clash in which as many as 20 Indian soldiers were killed in the Galwan Valley. After several days of standoff, India in June end banned the first 59 apps of China including Tik Tok and We Chat. A month later India added 47 more Chinese apps to the list.
How will China get affected by the ban?
China which was quite evidently unhappy with the previous two sets of bans on its mobile applications, has so far not reacted to the fresh list of suspended applications. It is pertinent to note that by banning its two most significant apps TikTok and PUBG, which had immense popularity among Indian users, government has dealt a huge financial blow to the country.
The PUBG game, which has more than 600 million downloads and 50 million active players globally, has millions of users, especially young, in India. It is to be noted that PUBG Mobile has highest number of downloads in India in the first half of the year, owing to the coronavirus induced lockdown.
As per data cited by news agency IANS, PUBG Mobile saw a global revenue gain of $1.3 billion (roughly Rs 9,731 crore) in the first half of this year, bringing its lifetime collection to $3 billion (nearly Rs 22,457 crore) with the highest number of downloads in India. India ranks at the top with 175 million installs.
Losing a huge user base would potentially result in loss of advertising revenue which does impact app-makers.
PUBG was enormously popular in India, a year after its launch in the country, Tencent reportedly clocked $7-8 million every month, reports said.
The battle ground game in which the last man / team standing gets a “Winner Winner Chicken Dinner” appreciation line, is free to play and does not cost users anything as they move ahead in the game. However it earned from other ways in the game like charging users real sums of money for virtual dress and gears.
To penetrate deeper and among users with simple android phones, it launched PUBG Lite, of which, as per App Annie, India accounts of 50% of the overall user base.
Apart from PUBG, India has banned altogether 224 such apps so far, a clear loss to China on this front is quite evident.
Indian government has launched the digital strike at a time when Chinese apps are already faced with rising concerns about espionage and data security in other countries as well.