India announces indigenous alternative to banned Chinese gaming app
New Delhi, Sep 4 (efe-epa).- India on Friday announced the launch of FAU-G, an indigenous alternative to the popular Chinese mobile phone gaming application PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG), banned two days earlier by the Indian government along with another 117 Chinese apps amid border tensions between the two countries.
The game “Fearless And United-Guards” (FAU-G), will be distributed by the firm nCore Games based in the southern city of Bangalore, which claims to be the leading mobile games distributer in India.
The announcement comes two days after the Indian government added 118 new apps – most of them Chinese – to a previous list of 59 mobile applications – including TikTok – banned in the country in June amid heightened border tensions and another 47 that were put on the list in July.
The apps banned on Wednesday include the gaming app PUBG, designed by Chinese tech giant Tencent and widely popular in India, its biggest market with around 175 million downloads so far, according to consultancy Sensor Tower.
On Friday, entrepreneur Vishal Gondal – advisor and investor for nCore Games – tweeted that the company was “proud to announce our action game Fearless And United-Guards: FAU-G,” adding that 20 percent of the net revenue would be donated to a government fund for soldiers’ benefit.
Akshay Kumar, a popular actor and producer in Bollywood – the Indian film industry – would be the mentor of the game.
“Besides entertainment, players will also learn about the sacrifices of our soldiers,” tweeted Kumar, who has more than 38 million followers on Twitter.
The news of the game’s launch has been widely celebrated in Indian social networks, although the exact dates of the launch or details such as whether it would be available for other devices than mobile phones are not available yet.
The announcement comes in the backdrop of a campaign for a “self-sufficient India” launched by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and was made on a day when New Delhi and Beijing were trying to bridge their difference to prevent an escalation in border tensions.
Earlier this week India accused the Chinese military of fresh “provocations” along their disputed boundary in the northern Ladakh region, while Beijing denied the allegations and in turn accused India of “illegally trespassing” the border, demanding an “immediate withdrawal” of its troops.
Bilateral tensions have been high for months following a clash in the same area in Ladakh on June 15, in which 20 Indian soldiers were killed and dozens injured, while the Chinese side did not report any casualties. EFE-EPA