New Delhi: The Government of India has banned 138 betting apps and 94 lending apps with Chinese links. The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) has taken this decision based on the recommendations of the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA).
New Delhi: The Government of India has banned 138 betting apps and 94 lending apps with Chinese links. The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) has taken this decision based on the recommendations of the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA). According to sources, the MHA recommended banning and blocking of these apps to MeitY this week and the ministry has initiated the process as per a subsequent communication.
These apps attract Section 69 of the IT Act as they contain material which is prejudicial to the sovereignty and integrity of India. The action behind the move is based on several complaints of extortion and harassment from common people who availed small amounts of loans through mobile apps run by those entities and individuals. It is the intelligence mind of Chinese nationals who hired Indians and made them directors.
According to inputs, desperate people are lured into taking loans and then the interest is increased by up to 3,000 per cent annually. When the borrowers were unable to pay the interest let alone the entire loan, the people representing these apps started harassing the debt-ridden people. They sent her lewd messages, threatened to release her doctored photos and sent messages to her contacts to shame her.
The matter came into limelight especially in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana after suicides by people who opted for such loans or lost money to betting apps. Sources said states like Telangana, Odisha and Uttar Pradesh as well as central intelligence agencies had then asked the Union Home Ministry to take action against these apps. Based on these inputs, the Home Ministry began analyzing 28 Chinese lending apps six months ago. However, they found that 94 apps are available on e-stores and others are working through third-party links.
It is learned that many apps are no longer available for download on smartphones but sources say that betting apps and games are being downloaded through independent links or websites. The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (MIB) issued an advisory, stating that since betting and gambling are illegal in most parts of the country, these betting platforms as well as their surrogate advertisements are also illegal under the provisions of consumer protection.