- The government is moving to ban 232 Chinese apps.
- These apps are being blocked on an “urgent” and “emergency” basis.
- The apps are likely to be banned under Section 69 of the IT Act.
The Indian government has launched a crackdown on over 230 apps. The government is moving to block 232 apps that offer betting and loan services in India. Out of the 232 apps, there are 138 betting apps and 94 load lending apps. These apps having Chinese links have been blocked on an “urgent” and “emergency” basis. The move came after a communication from Ministry of Home Affairs.
The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology is in the process to enforce a ban the 138 betting apps that were used for gambling along with another 94 apps that provided unauthorised loan services. The apps are being moved to block in the interest of protecting the country’s integrity, according to the government’s Prasar Bharati News.
The @GoI_MeitY has started the process to ban & block 138 betting apps and 94 loan lending apps which reportedly have Chinese links on an “urgent” and “emergency” basis. The move came after a communication from Ministry of Home Affairs. pic.twitter.com/6AtLcVqRGR
— Prasar Bharati News Services & Digital Platform (@PBNS_India) February 5, 2023
India Might Ban 232 Chinese Apps Soon
The Indian government might ban 232 betting and loan services apps following the request of the Ministry of Home Affairs. The apps are likely to be blocked under Section 69 of the IT act, which results in apps getting banned for containing material which is prejudicial to the sovereignty and integrity of India.
ANI reported that the Ministry of Home Affairs wants the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) to ban and block the 238 Chinese apps. The MeitY is already working on the process as per communication. The list of these 238 apps has not been officially released.
According to ANI, the MHA decided to take an action on these apps following several complaints of extortion and harassment of common people who have availed small amounts of loan through these mobile apps. These individuals were lured into taking apps and then were asked to pay an annual interest of up to 3000 per cent.
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The government learnt that these apps are a brainchild of Chinese nationals who hired Indians and made them the head of operations in the country. When they were not able to pay the loan amount or the interest, individuals representing these apps starting harassing the debtors for defaulting the loan repayment. The company representatives sent morphotos photos, lewd messages and threatened to shame them with messages to their contacts.
The government tracked activities of 28 Chinese loan-lending apps six months ago. Later, it found 94 such apps on the app stores and other third-party links. While many apps are not available for download on app stores, some of the betting apps and games are being downloaded through third-party links.
The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting later issued an advisory stating that since betting and gambling are illegal in most parts of India, advertisement of these betting platforms, as well as their surrogates, are also illegal under the provision of the Consumer Protection Act 2019, Cable TV Network Regulation Act 1995 and the IT Rules 2021.