India will ban Chinese apps for loan lending and betting

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The country’s Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology has launched the banning process.

The Indian Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) has announced that it has started the process of banning Chinese apps and applications linked with China in the category of betting and loan lending.

Applications with links to China are being banned and blocked by the MeitY in India.

This will include 138 Chinese apps for betting and 92 in the loan lending category associated with China. The MeitY proceeded with the launch of the banning procedures on the recommendation of the Indian Ministry of Home Affairs. The banning and blocking is occurring this week under India’s IT law, Section 69, according to a report issued by the MeitY.

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The country’s IT law provides the Indian government with the authority to block public access to content in the interest of national security. When orders of this nature are issued, they are typically considered to be confidential. This is only the latest in many moves made reflecting the political tension between the two countries which started with a border clash in 2020. India has already banned other applications from China including WeChat Messenger and TikTok.

India has also blocked other Chinese apps, citing concerns it had regarding security associated with them.

Last year, when several applications from China were blocked by the Indian government due to what it referred to as security concerns, China stated that it was concerned over bilateral economic and trade cooperation.

In this latest wave of bans, specific categories were targeted, including loan services, betting and gambling. Very few additional details were provided upon the initial announcement of the bans. That said, taking action under Section 69A of the IT Act, as was the case here, suggests that the applications contained material that were interpreted to be prejudicial to the country’s sovereignty and integrity.

Many complaints had been registered with regard to the Chinese apps, alleging that these betting and loan lending applications were extorting money from users who were also being harassed. Though many of these applications weren’t available through large official app stores, they could be downloaded from third party websites or by using individual links.

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