Bangladesh could soon ban PUBG Mobile, Garena Free Fire, TikTok, and other apps for three months
Over the past year, we've seen several South-East Asian countries crack down on video games. It started with India banning PUBG Mobile along with a host of other Chinese-origin apps. Nepal followed suit shortly after but backed off after some time. In China, Tencent imposed additional restrictions on minors' 'Honor of Kings' playtime. The Bangladesh High Court has directed the government to ban PUBG Mobile, Garena Free Fire, Likee, TikTok and Bigo Live.
A report by Bangladeshi news outlet The Daily Star says that the court has given authorities ten days to explain why the aforementioned services shouldn't be banned in the country. The court only calls for a three-month ban of the services, which apparently affect "social values, education and culture". The Bangladeshi High Court has also asked the government to work with "technologists, educationists and lawyers" to identify additional apps that are 'harmful'. We should know about the government's decision in a week or so.
Tencent and Garena will undoubtedly put forth their arguments and maybe even some in-game restrictions to appease regulators. Some estimates say that there are up to 2 million active PUBG Mobile in Bangladesh. PUBG Mobile and Free Fire have a budding e-sports scene in the country, too. Some players have managed to earn US$10,000 via locally organized tournaments, of which there seem to be quite a few.