China’s gaming and social media giant Tencent’s shares crashed by more than 2 per cent on Thursday after India banned its popular gaming app PUBG along with 117 other mobile apps, claiming they were prejudicial to the sovereignty and integrity of the country and posed a threat to the defence, security and public order of India. The market value of this drop is estimated to be around USD 14 Billion in just a day.
Tencent becomes one of the biggest losers alongside banned TikTok app owner ByteDance
With Wednesday’s ban, Tencent became one of the biggest losers alongside China’s ByteDance, whose flagship product TikTok met a similar fate earlier. The Internet powerhouse- Tencent has more than 25 apps, which it owns directly or through affiliates, banned in India. This includes the chat platform WeChat and apps like QQ Newsfeed.
Tencent also has investments in the news and entertainment platform Newsdog, camera app YouCam and e-commerce platform Shein. All of these apps are now banned in India.
PUBG was one of the most popular gaming apps. India alone contributed almost 175 million installs to date, which is almost 24 per cent of its total installs worldwide. PUBG had over 50 million active users in India.
It is notable here that though the popular game PUBG was created by a South Korean company, its mobile version is owned by China’s Tencent.
As per reports, it is Tencent’s second-biggest valuation dip this year. The latest report has suggested that the total losses in market value may be near 34 Billion USD, and shares may have tumbled by 3%.
America lauds India’s bold move to ban 118 Chinese apps, asks all “freedom-loving nations” to join in
The USA has supported India’s move to ban 118 Chinese apps. In a Tweet, the US State Department quoted Under Secretary Keith Krach had lauded India’s move and urged “all freedom-loving nations and companies to join the ‘Clean Network’ drive.
China perturbed by another big jolt by India
Meanwhile, China, perturbed by India’s move, responded on Thursday by saying that India’s decision to ban 118 Chinese Apps is not beneficial to the Indian users nor to China’s businesses and claimed it violated (World Trade Organisation) WTO rules. The Chinese spokesperson Hua Chunying, raising concerns over the ban also noted that the US State Department on the same day cited New Delhi’s ban and called on other countries to join India to join the Clean Network programme. “I wonder if there’s connection or coordination between India and the US on this issue,” she claimed.
India bans 118 ‘malicious’ Chinese apps including Tencent owned PUBG
Invoking its power under section 69A of the Information Technology Act read with the relevant provisions of the Information Technology (Procedure and Safeguards for Blocking of Access of Information by Public) Rules 2009 and in view of the emergent nature of threats, the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, Government of India decided to block 118 mobile apps, on September 2.
This bold move by the Indian government came amidst the heightened tensions along the Line of Actual Control after the Chinese troops were found surreptitiously intruding into Indian territory in the southern bank of Pangong Tso lake on the intervening night of August 29 and 30. The Indian Army had outfoxed the Chinese manoeuvres and repelled the Chinese incursion.
Prior to this, the Indian government had banned 59 apps, mostly Chinese, including popular mobile apps such as TikTok, UC Browser and WeChat, citing similar reasons.