New Delhi: Following constant complaints against Chinese loan and betting apps, the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) has started the process of banning 138 betting apps and 94 lending apps that had Chinese links, on the instructions of the Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA).
According to the information, the MeitY was recently instructed by the MHA to ban such apps, which operate through a third party link.
The IT law allows the government to block public access to content in the interest of national security, among other reasons. Orders issued under the section are generally confidential in nature.
Sources said that all these apps were found violating Section 69 of the IT Act and contained material which was deemed as a threat to India’s sovereignity and integrity.
As per sources, these apps are used to trap financially strapped people in a debt trap, by increasing their interest on loans up to 3,000 per cent.
Many such people who were caught in the debt trap committed suicide when the people working for the apps mentally harassed them.
The issue came to the fore after several cases of suicides by borrowers of these apps were seen in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana.
On the other hand, the Chinese apps can potentially misuse server-side security by using them as spying tools as they have access to the important data of many Indians.
Access to such data can be used for espionage on a large scale, due to which all such apps are being considered as a threat to the country.
The MHA had started investigating some Chinese loan giving apps around six months ago.
It was revealed that 94 such apps were available on the e-store and operated through third party links.
Around that time, security agencies had asked the Ministry to impose a ban on such betting and loan lending apps.
Significantly, the Centre had banned 54 Chinese apps that posed as a threat to the country’s security in 2022.