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India blocks 138 betting apps, 94 lending apps with Chinese links; some non-Chinese apps also targeted

This is the first time a large scale action to block lending and gaming apps has been ordered by the government

Update (7 February, 12:00 pm): According to TechCrunch, some loan apps without Chinese links have also been blocked as part of the order. Notably, PayU’s popular buy-now-pay-later app LazyPay has been blocked, along with Kissht and Indiabulls Home Loans. Original story (6 February, 12:17 pm):  India's IT Ministry has started the process to block 138 betting apps and 94 loan lending apps that reportedly have Chinese links, the country's public broadcaster tweeted on February 5. The blocking orders are being issued on an "urgent" and "emergency" basis following a recommendation from the Ministry of Home Affairs, the broadcaster added. The list of targeted apps is not public and, assuming that these blocking orders are issued under Section 69A of the IT Act, 2000, the government has no obligation to make them public. Section 69A allows the government to block content in the interest of national security, sovereignty and integrity of India, public order, etc. Some of the banned apps include Betway and Dafabet, The India Express reported. These apps were engaging in money laundering and "improper data storage and transfer," sources told Economic Times. Adding to this, sources told News18 that these apps "often displaying predatory behaviour to trap individuals in massive debt, can also be misused as tools for espionage and propaganda, besides posing a security risk to the data of the Indian citizens." Why does this matter: The domestic online gaming and digital lending industries have frequently complained about foreign apps engaging in malpractices (such as predatory lending) and bringing disrepute…

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