There is no intent by the Government of India to selectively block apps based on the origin of the apps, said MoS Rajeev Chandrasekhar
Apps were blocked on the basis of illegality, user harm and criminality they demonstrate
The Centre has cleared the air around the matter a week after the ban of 232 Chinese digital lending and betting apps
Minister of State (MoS) for Electronics and Information Technology Rajeev Chandrasekhar on Friday (February 10) informed the Parliament that the government did not block apps based on their jurisdiction or their origins.
Responding to a question about the recent ban imposed on 232 Chinese apps, Chandrasekhar specifically pointed out that the apps were blocked based on illegality, user harm and criminality they demonstrate.
“We don’t ban apps or block apps based on their jurisdiction. There is no intent by the government of India to selectively block apps based on the origin of the apps. The apps were blocked on the basis of illegality, user harm and criminality they demonstrate,” said the MoS in response to a question from BJD MP Sujeet Kumar.
The Union government has cleared the air around the matter a week after it imposed a sweeping crackdown on hundreds of Chinese-linked digital lending and betting apps.
While the ban was reportedly meant for Chinese apps, many homegrown lending apps such as Kissht, LazyPay and BuddyLoans were also caught in the crossfire. Many of these platforms were banned without any apparent connection to China or Chinese entities.
The aftermath saw the representatives of as many as 15 such Indian apps make presentations before the MeitY, seeking revocation of the ban. The bans were eventually revoked, and their websites became fully operational on Friday.
While the MoS claimed that MeitY does not ban apps based on jurisdiction, this is the sixth round of such bans imposed on Chinese apps in the past three years. Besides, the Centre has also cracked the whip and banned social media and video content emerging out of Pakistan over national security concerns.
The bans also come amidst growing concerns over non-regulated Chinese loan apps operating in the country. In many instances, the collection agents have harassed and intimidated borrowers, which have led to many victims dying by suicide or filing police complaints.
There have also been concerns of data privacy with regards to such apps. These foreign entities have also been known to access critical financial data of many Indian individuals and have been allegedly laundering money offshore.
India’s lendingtech space continues to be an attractive proposition for business and consumers alike. Inc42 estimates lendingtech to be the fastest growing sub-segment within the fintech space. It is projected to have an addressable market of $616 Bn by 2025.