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Tencent shares fall more than 2% after India bans PUBG Mobile

Shares of China’s tech giant Tencent shed more than 2% a day after India announced a ban on its popular gaming app PUBG Mobile and its other apps including Tencent Weiyun, WeChat Reading, WeChat Work and PUBG Mobile Lite.

Data available on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange (HKEX) website showed the stock of Tencent Holdings closing 2.02% lower at HK$534 on Thursday.

On Wednesday, the Indian government had banned 118 Chinese origin apps after having already banned Tencent’s messaging service WeChat on June 29, which had then officially blocked Indian users from sending or receiving messages on July 25.

This is the second biggest fall in market value for Tencent after facing a ban in its top markets such as the US and India. According to a Bloomberg report, Tencent’s valuation had dropped by $35 billion between late July and early August.

A blanket ban in India is a big jolt for the gaming giant as India has been contributing with the largest number of downloads for PUBG mobile. To recall, India had contributed 24% or 175 million out of PUBG’s lifetime 734 million downloads till June.

For the unaware, PUBG was developed by a Korean gaming company Bluehole while the mobile version of the game was developed by Tencent. Tencent holds around 10% stake in PUBG’s parent company.

According to data intelligence platform Sensor Tower, India was the top contributor for PUBG mobile’s downloads in August, receiving 29.8% or 4.38 million downloads of its total 14.7 million downloads last month. China, Turkey, Russia and Egypt were the remainder in the top 5 list.

In revenue terms, China remained on top with close to 60% contribution of PUBG’s $154.5 million revenue in August. India contributed a mere 1% or $1.5 million in revenue in August. 

While India may not have been a major source of revenue for the popular Chinese mobile apps such as TikTok and PUBG, the country certainly emerged as an anchor for driving the valuation of the two. TikTok and PUBG had over 650 million and 185 million downloads before they got banned by the Narendra Modi-led government over escalating border tensions between the two neighbours.

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