Centre to ban 138 betting apps, 94 loan apps with Chinese links
India has cited activities 'prejudicial to sovereignty and integrity of the country, and public order' to restrict the Chinese apps. Photo: iStock

Centre to ban 138 betting apps, 94 loan apps with Chinese links

Following recommendations of the Union Home Ministry, the Centre has decided to ban and block 138 betting apps and 94 loan lending apps with Chinese links on an urgent and emergency basis.

The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) carried out the action. Sources said that MeitY has already initiated the process to block these apps.

Luring people

According to sources, people are lured into availing a loan and then rate of interest is jacked up substantially. When the debtors fail to repay the interest, individuals representing these apps start harassing those in debt. They send them lewd messages, threatening to release their morphed photos and shaming them with messages to their contacts.

Also read: Centre bans 54 more Chinese apps citing security concerns

The matter came to light following a spate of suicides, particularly in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, by those who took such loans or lost money to betting apps. Several states as well as central intelligence agencies had then asked the Union Home Ministry to take action against these apps, sources said

The decision was taken after confirming that the 138 betting apps contained material prejudicial to sovereignty and integrity of the country.

Banned last year

Last year, the ministry had banned 54 Chinese apps which posed threat to India’s security. The apps included Equalizer & Bass Booster, Tencent Xriver, Onmyoji Chess and Dual Space Lite.

“The government had said the 54 apps allegedly obtained critical permissions and collected sensitive user data. The data was being misused and sent to servers in a hostile country,” the IT ministry had said in a statement.

Also read: New wave of ban on Chinese apps a heartbreak for PUBG Mobile players

These apps are either a cloned version or have similar functionality, privacy issues and security threats. In June 2020, the government had banned 59 apps and later blocked 47 related/cloning apps on August 10, 2020.

Later, 118 apps were blocked on September 1, 2020, and another 43 apps on November 19, the same year.

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