The Indian government is reportedly set to ban 138 betting & gambling apps and 94 loan lending apps, some of which have connections with China on an “urgent” and “emergency” basis, according to Prasar Bharati, the state-owned public broadcaster based in New Delhi. (via TechCrunch)
The newspaper reported the Ministry of Electronic and Information Technology (MeitY) has already started the banning process after receiving a communication from the Ministry of Home Affairs.
In addition to the Chinese-linked apps, the list also includes those based in India and other markets, The Economic Times said.
According to the report, the website of Indian personal loan & pay later app LazyPay currently shows the following message.
“The website has been blocked as per the order of the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology under the IT Act, 2000.”
A spokesperson for PayU, another popular payments solution provider based in the Netherlands, said: “Due to unavoidable circumstances our Website and App are currently unavailable via a few Internet Service Providers. Please be assured that we are doing everything to resolve the issue.”
Meanwhile, Indian personal loan app Kissht’s founder and CEO Ranvir Singh said: “We are reaching out to Meity to resolve this as soon as possible as lakhs of our customers who avail our services are impacted. This will impact their ability to use credit for productive purposes.“
This is not the first time foreign apps, especially China-based ones, are being blocked in India.
The government banned 59 Chinese apps including TikTok, UC Browser and ShareIt in June 2020, another set of 47 apps including TikTok Lite a month later, 118 more apps such as PUBG Mobile, Baidu and Alipay in September of the same year, and 54 more including Garena Free Fire last February. Although PUBG’s developer Krafton launched a similar title in the country named ‘’Battlegrounds Mobile India’’, the government also banned it last July.