(Reuters) – India has approved a three-month trial of Battlegrounds Mobile India (BGMI), a popular battle-royale format game that was banned for nearly a year, a minister from the government said on Friday.
The Indian government had blocked BGMI, the flagship game made by South Korea’s Krafton Inc, in July, citing concerns about its data-sharing and mining in China.
Krafton is backed by China’s Tencent.
This is a three-month trial approval of BGMI after it has complied with issues of server locations and data security, Indian deputy minister for Information Technology, Rajeev Chandrasekhar, said in a tweet.
At the time of its removal from Alphabet Inc’s Google Play Store and Apple Inc’s App Store, BGMI had more than 100 million users in India.
A Facebook page for the title says the game will be available for download soon.
The government will keep a close watch on other issues of user harm and addiction in the trial period before making a final decision, Chandrasekhar added.
New Delhi banned another Krafton title, PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG), in 2020, following which the company launched BGMI.
The ban on PUBG was part of a larger ban on more than 300 Chinese apps, including short-video platform TikTok, after the government ramped up its scrutiny of Chinese businesses in the wake of a 2020 clash between the neighbours.
The government also intensified the scrutiny of investments by Chinese firms in Indian companies.
(Reporting by Mrinmay Dey and Hritam Mukherjee in Bengaluru; Editing by Dhanya Ann Thoppil and Janane Venkatraman)