Sea Ltd. is bringing back one of its top mobile games in India a year and a half after it was banned, a boon for the internet company’s effort to revive its growth.
(Bloomberg) — Sea Ltd. is bringing back one of its top mobile games in India a year and a half after it was banned, a boon for the internet company’s effort to revive its growth.
Now called Free Fire India, the game will be available Sept. 5, Sea’s gaming arm, Garena, said Thursday in a statement. Partner Yotta, a unit of India’s Hiranandani Group, will provide infrastructure to store data of Indian users on local servers, Garena said.
The relaunch is set to provide a boost for Singapore-based Sea, which is trying to reverse slowing sales growth amid intensifying competition. New Delhi in February 2022 banned Free Fire, at the time Sea’s most popular mobile gaming title in the country, citing security concerns because of its Chinese links. Weeks later, Sea said it would shut its main e-commerce operation in India, blaming “market uncertainties” for scuppering one of its more promising overseas endeavors.
India has banned hundreds of Chinese apps in recent years, but the expansion of that policy to Sea last year took management and investors by surprise. Sea was founded by Forrest Li, who was born in China but is now a Singaporean citizen. China’s Tencent Holdings Ltd. is a shareholder in Sea.
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