India to block over 200 loan and betting apps with links to China

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India is set to wield the big stick as it aims to sanitize its space, and get rid of China-linked loan and bet apps. The country is set to block 232 apps to stop them from offering both loan and betting services to its citizens.

Not all 232 apps belong to China, however; some, according to the report have ties with the South Asian market. India said the essence of this is to prevent the misuse of the citizens’ data.

The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, according to India’s state-owned public broadcaster, is set to announce the ban. The breakdown of the ban showed that 138 betting and gambling apps and another 94 that provided unauthorized loan services will be removed from its space.

This latest move against the two categories of apps, was prompted at the direction of the Ministry of Home Affairs, Prasar Bharti said. The apps misled customers into taking huge debts without realizing the terms and there were worries that they could be used as tools to for espionage and propaganda.

In September 2022, India continued its crackdown on Chinese-owned online loan apps. India’s financial fighting agency raided the offices of fintech Paytm and Razorpay and Cashfree in September.

The raid was the latest in a series of investigations into the activities of loan apps in the country. The raid affected high-profile India firms and businesses controlled by Chinese after several complaints and petition alleging “extortion and harassment of the public who had availed small amount of loans through the mobile apps.”

During enquiries, it has emerged that these entities are controlled/operated by Chinese persons. The modus operandi of these entities is by using forged documents of Indians and making them as dummy directors of those entities, they are generating proceeds of crime,” the agency said.

The entities operated by Chinese personnel were generating “proceeds of crime through merchant IDs/accounts held with payment gateways/banks,” the Enforcement Directorate said. The agency said that there were discrepancies in the registered addresses the companies gave to the local authority.

In India, many of these Chinese-owned apps use unethical means to recover their loans, which include blackmail and threats. TechCrunch reports that the country’s central bank is moving ahead with new guidelines to regulate digital lending in India. The guidelines will make it mandatory for companies to provide more disclosure and transparency to benefit consumers as well as restrict several business practices.

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Author: Ola Ric

Ola Ric is a professional tech writer. He has written and provided tons of published articles for professionals and private individuals. He is also a social commentator and analyst, with relevant experience in the use of social media services.

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