The future of the game as the centerpiece of Indian sport seemed promising until a military conflict between China and India on the border changed everything earlier this year. As tensions between the two countries intensified, the Indian government found the best way to fight back China: its paperback. More than a hundred popular apps developed by Chinese companies in the country have been banned, including PUBG Mobile and Tick Thank you.
To understand why this happened and when PUBG Mobile and other Chinese apps have a future in India. The Esports Observer spoke to Akshat Rathee, Co-Founder and CEO of NODWIN Gaming.
Hit them where it hurts
It’s easy to see why Chinese companies, especially app developers and publishers, want to do business in India: there are more than 1.38 billion people in the country, and most of them have mobile devices and access to relatively cheap broadband. Tencent Holdings is one such company and as the publisher of PUBG Corporation popular battle royale game, it found a huge amount of success. According to a June report by Sensor Tower before the game ban PUBG Mobile More than 175 million installations have been carried out from India alone, which corresponds to 24% of the total installations worldwide.
The problem Chinese companies know all too well is that sometimes they get into the midst of geopolitical problems that they have nothing to do with, and the price of doing business is just to stay out of it even if you are losing millions of dollars . On the other hand, opponents of China will target you too, and this is exactly what happened to many companies that did business in India in 2020.
In order to take revenge on China’s actions on the border, India imposed a series of sanctions aimed at the profits China made in the region. According to Rathee, it was about hitting China financially, not specific games or apps.
“So India and America came together and said, ‘Hey, we are creating wealth for this thing called China, and if you have to sanction a country like China, we have to sanction its ability to create wealth.” All of these stock markets create wealth for Chinese companies, and the only way to attack the stock market is to destroy value on both a consumer and consumer basis. “
Rathee notes that India is following America’s lead in its dealings with China, particularly with banning apps like TikTok, which is fragmenting the internet with different ecosystems for China, India, America, etc.
“This is about money. And money can lead to that. In the 20th century, the then dominant countries, Russia and America, imposed sanctions on countries that did not behave. And what were the sanctions? If you look at the international diplomacy game book, sanctions are not a means of punishment. They are actually a means of coercion where they are supposed to have an effect. It is not punishment for punishment’s sake. Punishment is not a sanction. “
In addition to the actual sanctions, bans on Chinese products such as apps are an additional tool to force China to comply.
“America and India basically said, ‘Hey, we understand this is the way to sanction companies in China,’ where they move and then comply with US law.”
He is sure that apps that have been banned in India are unfortunate victims of circumstances simply because they are the most popular or profitable at the wrong time.
“If you take a step back, you will understand what is happening PUBG Mobile;; It’s literally collateral damage right now, “Rathee said, adding,” You [India, America] say, “There is a substantial installation base for your business in India. We will hurt you. “
A triumphant return or a tragic end?
Shortly after the game was banned in India, PUBG Corp. announced that it will take over the publishing and distribution rights to PUBG Mobile from Tencent in the country. As we reported earlier, the company has started talking to key stakeholders in India about taking over distribution of the game, including telecommunications Trust Jio and AirtelThe biggest challenge, however, is getting the Indian government to change their position in the game. At the time of this writing, government officials who have spoken to the media have said that the state of the game will not change anytime soon and that PUBG Corp. has made no effort to engage officials on the matter.
Despite the fact that the situation seems dire and untenable, Rathee believes so PUBG Mobile will eventually be reinstated in India.
“I do not think so PUBG Mobile is made in India at all. I think you need to understand what the risk is and what the requirements are. What does India want in this? A company that conforms to the democracy or rule of law defined by America and India. By definition, PUBG Corp. based in the USA, a South Korean company, basically meet the requirements. And if they find an Indian partner, no matter who that is, it doesn’t matter. ”
Rathee believes that anyone who is an affiliate of PUBG Corp. in the region will be a major player bringing the greatest benefit to the country. The other challenge he sees concerns personal data and its storage. When the Indian government banned the apps earlier this year, it cited concerns about where user data was stored (personal, financial), whether it was shared with the Chinese government, and how that access to information posed a risk to the country’s national security. With Tencent out of the picture, the dispute over PUBG MobileThe user and financial data going to China is evaporating. If you have these and other problems with the PUBG Mobile Rathee expects the game to be restored in India, but if it goes beyond that, organizations that have all been focused on justice are focused PUBG Mobile will have to make some tough decisions.
“It’s been a month and a half since it was banned, and I think it’s still a month and a half, maybe two, maybe two and a half months. If the ban goes beyond a quarter, maybe four months, you’ll see massive changes there. Ultimately, I believe in the medium term, not the long term PUBG Mobile is not prohibited. “
Rathee believes that there will be some tough choices for small clubs and large esports organizations in India if the ban goes beyond a certain period of time. In the short term, he thinks this is a good opportunity for the esports industry to develop.
“Professional teams, as they are defined in practice as salaries, social benefits, team houses, etc., are less represented in the country. These teams must always question duty rosters. These are teams like entity and Fnaticand other good teams out there. This gives the team a chance to focus on other games, but also earn income from streaming, streaming endorsements, creating good content, and exploring the team’s business models. “
Organizations that focus on one game are not functioning in Rathee’s opinion.
“We had four titles in the Premier League. there was PUBG Mobilebut there was also Counterstrike, FIFA, and also Clash of Clans … And we had one too Appreciation Tournament .. we had a lot of things. If you’re an esports team and we’ve seen this vitality, Born to win, Cloud 9and every great esports team out there – they’re never a single esports title team. It just doesn’t work. It works in closed ecosystems where there is a franchise league Overwatch or League of LegendsBut franchising did not take place in India and that is why every esports team in India should have a multi-game roster. “
And although, as a major player in the Indian esports industry, he has done everything possible to bring the stakeholders to the table and resolve the situation, Rathee admits that his influence can only go so far.
“From now on I am creating value in India. India and China are fighting. India decided that Chinese apps are illegal. It’s above my pay grade. I can not help it. I can just try to solve the problem by introducing different partners who may be able to work with Google. But I am not the prime minister of this country, I am nobody. And that’s it. It’s just an acceptance of going on and saying we’re going to go ahead and do this. “
And while India can be a dead zone for you PUBG Mobile For now, NODWIN continues to do business related to the game by organizing events across Southeast Asia. Spots that were once dedicated to Indian teams are now being occupied by other regions.
„PUBG Mobile was only banned in India. NODWIN has a very strong relationship with Krafton and PUBG Mobile and so we led South Asia for them. So we run India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal and all of these countries. We have also expanded into Africa. In order to PUBG Mobile runs in our South African championships.
“So that’s what we’re doing right now PUBG Mobile Pro League for South Asia and there are no Indian teams, there are teams from other countries. There are more Nepalese teams, there are more Pakistani teams … so four out of 16 slots had to be filled, and we fill those slots. “
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