Memes mourn the ‘death’ of PUBG video game app

Chennai: PUBG MOBILE, a wildly popular online multiplayer shooting game, is among 118 apps blocked by the government Wednesday amid tension over fresh Chinese provocation in Ladakh.

The move is in the interest of India’s sovereignty and integrity, defence and security, the government said in a statement.

Soon after the decision was announced, memes started circulating on social media over the famous game’s suspension. Some cricket lovers also highlighted former India skipper MS Dhoni’s love for the game which he no longer would be able to enjoy.

Sakshi, wife of Dhoni, had said in an interview, “He has got a thinking brain, it does not rest. When he plays video games, it helps him divert his mind, which is a good thing. Nowadays PUBG has encroached my bed. Mahi is sleep talking about PUBG these days.”

In a measure of PUBG’s huge popularity in India, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, during an event on exam stress last year, had remarked to a mother complaining about her teen: “Yeh PUBG-wala hai kya (Is he a PUBG player?)”.

In June, the government banned 59 mobile apps including Bytedance’s TikTok, Alibaba’s UC Browser and Tencent’s WeChat, also citing security concerns.

The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology said in a statement that the mobile game has been banned along with the other Apps under Section 69A of the Information Technology Act, on grounds that “they are engaged in activities which are prejudicial to sovereignty and integrity of India, defence of India, security of state and public order”.

The government received many complaints from various sources, including reports about misuse of some mobile apps available on Android and iOS platforms, for stealing and surreptitiously transmitting users’ data in an unauthorised manner to servers located outside India, it said further.

“The compilation of these data, its mining and profiling by elements hostile to national security and defence of India, which ultimately impinges upon the sovereignty and integrity of India, is a matter of very deep and immediate concern which requires emergency measures,” it added.


NT Bureau