PUBG was one of the main gaming app that was in the list of apps banned by the Indian Govt' yesterday (Sept. 2nd). The official statement from the government said that these apps were banned because they were stealing and surreptitiously transmitting users' data in an unauthorized manner to servers that have locations outside India.
However, that might not be the case here, according to several media reports it has everything to do with Chinese company Tencent which is a shareholder in PUBG, and the border tensions with China are well known to the world.
PUBG is owned by the South Korean game developing company "Bluehole."
But is it the right decision? Will it benefit India? The answer is a bit complicated so I will simplify it below.
According to Google Play and App Store data, PUBG mobile has been installed from more than 175 million accounts which are the highest in the world, but in terms of revenue, PUBG has made roughly around $100-150 million from India this year and $1.3 billion worldwide. PUBG mainly earns money by selling UCs which players use to buy in-game items and passes.
The Indian Gaming community which has more than 10000 gamers who currently stream on Youtube, Facebook, and Twitch are mainly experts on PUBG mobile. Around 80% of them play PUBG mobile on their streaming and they have millions of subscribers. This is where the ban is going to impact the most, as the streamers have very limited options to go to.
The country's top streamers can jump to PC as they have enough money to get the desired specifications and infrastructures but small and medium streamers who generally play on their phones are set to go through a lot of struggle and may be forced to quit the gaming career as in the past they have said that other games don't attract as many viewers as the PUBG mobile.
Earnings of Indian gamers are not out in the open to the public but according to Youtube, India's top gamers make around $1 million per year which is not a small amount. so let's assume an average income 1000$ per gamer per year than 10000 professional Indian gamers who mostly play PUBG will be $10 million.
So, now we can consider that Indian gamers are about to lose $10 million every year due to this ban.
Now lets come to other impacts related to the ban, the mobile phones. India is one of the biggest markets for smartphones and most of the mobile manufacturers who are selling their phones here, generally advertise that you can play PUBG on their phones smoothly and without any heating issues, what I mean is, PUBG is one of the biggest marketing tools for selling a costly phone in India.
Samsung, Oppo, Asus, Pocco, Apple and others, all have marketed their phones which generally have 6GB of RAM by saying that it's the best phone to play PUBG. Now since the high graphics PUBG mobile is now banned it's gonna have a huge impact on the smartphone manufacturing industry and considering the 175 million user base, we can easily estimate a loss of more than $1 Billion in the upcoming 2 years.
Last month when Tiktok was banned, that also resulted in a revenue loss of a lot of Indian Tik-tokers who used to create content and publish it for the audience worldwide.
Now that we know about the earnings of various components related to PUBG, let's see who is losing how much and who is benefiting, India, or China.
PUBG making $150 million from India, Tencent owning a 10% stake in PUBG which will give them $15 million from India, China, if it takes 20% tax then it will give the Chinese govt' roughly around $3 million. I can't say about the users' data going to China because it's not logical for me to say. After all, a Chinese company having a share in a company doesn't give them the right to users' data. By that logic Flipkart, Paytm and, Dream11 who have Chinese investments should also be selling the users' data to China.
Now, the Indian Gamers who are making $10 million are paying 18% tax, that will give the government around $1.8 million and, the mobile phone companies which are making around $1 billion by selling high-end phones are also paying 18% tax that will give the government around $180 million. So, that makes a total of about $181.8 million.
So, Due to the PUBG ban, China is set to lose $3 million while India will lose around $182 million and also add the people who will be unemployed due to this. India is already going through massive unemployment in various sectors and is currently unable to address this problem.
I talked to a few streamers via Instagram regarding the ban and they all keep saying, "we will do whatever the government asks us to do," "we will win against China." None of them came forward to tell that this ban is wrong and it is going to hurt us.
I read few tweets from dynamic young leaders of both the ruling and opposition party of India and they were all of the similar opinions that this ban will allow Indian developers to create their apps which is by the way one of the most absurd logic I have heard, I mean why the hell you need to ban something of others to create your own. If you have the infrastructure, then you can create your app first than ban the others.
Anyway, these days logic has no place in society.
Our article has only addressed the impacts related to PUBG Mobile and it doesn't include the other 117 banned apps.
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