India Bans 54 Apps and Games, Including a Top China-Backed Game
This is a single insight from This Week in Apps #101 - The Top of the Top. Check out the full article for more insights.
Last week the government of India instructed app store operators to remove a list of 54 apps and games from their stores immediately. No reason was given.
I scanned the list as soon as it came out, and for the most part, it was little utilities that probably steal data and other apps from Chinese developers.
But last on the list was Garena Free Fire Illuminate, one of the most popular games in the world right now!
When looking at downloads of the game, which is backed by the Chinese giant Tencent, I noticed that India was actually the biggest driver of downloads since the game was released in 2017.
According to our estimates, more than 28% of the total downloads across the App Store and Google Play came from India. Brazil, Indonesia, Vietnam, and Mexico were the top 5 countries, but none of those was even close to the scale of India.
Much like the hit TikTok took when it was banned in India last year, I expect Garena's overall numbers to drop significantly post-ban.
Luckily for Garena, India isn't where most of its revenue comes from, and interestingly enough, Garena Free Fire MAX wasn't on the ban list.
Zooming out. The war between India and China continues to play out through apps, and I wonder if the politicians who make these rules understand the power they have, and that there are better ways to leverage it.
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