With regard to quick loan apps, too, there have been multiple complains of hefty interest rates and threats from the owners of these apps on delay in payment of loans.
The ministry of electronics and information technology (MeitY) has blocked 232 apps with links to China for alleged involvement in betting, gambling, money laundering, and unauthorised lending. These apps have been banned on account of national security concerns, according to people aware of the matter.
The move comes after the IT ministry received a communication from the home ministry to block such apps on an “urgent” and “emergency” basis. Details including names of the blocked apps could not be immediately clarified. Of the 232 blocked apps, 138 are betting apps and 94 are loan-lending apps with hefty interest rates.
In some cases, interest rates were increased by a shocking 3,000% annually. When debtors were unable to repay, they were subjected to threatening messages and even the release of morphed photos. Tragically, this led to a number of suicides in the Indian states of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana.
Under Section 69A of the Information Technology Act, the government has the powers to restrict access to any content to protect the sovereignty and integrity of the country, security of the state, friendly relations with foreign states or for public order.
In June 2020, it had first banned 59 mobile apps, including TikTok, Shareit, UC Browser, Helo, Xender, which according to the government were prejudicial to sovereignty and integrity of the country. In September 2020, it had banned popular gaming app PUBG and 117 others linked to China.
In the last two years, the government has banned about 400 apps related to gaming, video editing, video conferencing, music and entertainment, among others.