The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) has initiated the process of banning and blocking 138 betting apps and 94 loan lending apps with Chinese links. This comes as part of India’s ongoing crackdown on Chinese apps over security concerns. MeitY stated that it has started the process on an “emergency” and “urgent” basis after receiving communication from the Ministry of Home Affairs.
The apps were found to violate Section 69 of the IT Act, which prohibits material that threatens the sovereignty and integrity of India.Since betting and gambling are illegal in most parts of the country, advertisements for these betting platforms and their surrogates are also illegal under various acts and regulations, including the Consumer Protection Act 2019, Cable TV Network Regulation Act 1995, and the IT Rules, 2021.
These apps can also pose a security risk to Indian citizens’ data and may be misused for espionage and propaganda.In recent years, the Indian government has banned over 250 Chinese apps, including TikTok, Xender, Shein, and Camscanner, for allegedly gathering sensitive user data and posing a threat to the country’s sovereignty, security, and public order. In 2020, India banned 59 mobile apps and later 118 more apps under section 69A of the IT Act. The Centre also blocked 43 mobile apps in November 2020, including PUBG Mobile, TikTok, Weibo, WeChat, and AliExpress. In February 2020, the MeitY banned the operations of 54 Chinese apps in India.