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Indian Apps Banned by Meity In a Quandary While the government blocked 138 betting and gambling apps and 94 quick loan-providing apps with Chinese links, it appears that the collateral damage has been some Indian apps

By Soumya Duggal

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The IT ministry's crackdown on fintech apps, some of which allegedly have Chinese links, for the misuse of sensitive consumer data has not spared Indian apps, with PayU's LazyPay, Kissht, Faircent and Indiabulls Home Loans also bearing the brunt. The reason for this is unclear as yet.

"We are still operational at present and will be taking up the matter with the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (Meity) soon," Kissht co-founder Krishnan Vishwanathan told Entrepreneur.

"The website has been blocked as per the order of the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology under the IT Act, 2000," LazyPay said on its website late on Monday. Owned by Naspers-backed PayU, the buy-now-pay-later service provider has said that it is doing everything to resolve the issue.

The government on Sunday blocked 138 betting and gambling apps and 94 quick loan-providing apps on an "urgent" and "emergency" basis for "improper data storage and transfer" to other countries as well as money laundering, according to a report in ET. Some of these apps have Chinese origin but Indian employees, including directors, added the report. The apps are said to offer quick loans initially and subsequently hike interest rates to 3,000 per cent. When users fail to pay the interest, let alone the loan, they are harassed with the circulation of morphed photos and loan details among their contacts, as per media reports.

This is not the first time the government has banned apps and browsers with Chinese affiliations to protect national security. Starting in 2020, nearly 400 such apps have been blocked, including short-video sharing giant TikTok, cross-platform file transfer app Xender, popular online games PUBG Mobile and Free Fire, fast fashion brand Shein, and mobile scanning application CamScanner, among others.

Soumya Duggal

Former Feature Writer

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