Only two days after being removed from Apple's App Store and the Google Play Store in India, their government has officially banned 54 Chinese-owned apps, including Garena Free Fire, one of the most popular titles in the world, according to an ANI report.
Despite being published by Singapore-based Garena, Free Fire, is an app that "poses a threat to India's security" as user information was being sent elsewhere, according to the report.
Garena currently acts as a subsidiary of Sea Limited and, in their 2021 financial report, more than 150 million daily active players were signed on to Free Fire, which is up from their figure of 50 million in 2019. The game has been downloaded over a billion times globally and acts as the highest-grossing mobile game in numerous countries around the world.
In a report by TechCrunch, over 40 million individuals each day play Free Fire in India and it acts as the game's most popular esport after PUBG Mobile's ban from the country in 2020. Tencent, the multinational technology and entertainment conglomerate based in China, published PUBG Mobile and has a history of being liberal with users' private information.
As of the time of this post, the Indian government did not issue a public statement regarding the ban.
Tim Rizzo is the editor and a reporter for Inven Global. He joined the company back in 2017.