Several Indian lending apps have also been banned by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) as part of its crackdown on Chinese loan apps. The likes of Ola’s Avail Finance, loan app True Balance and soonicorn KreditBee are on the government’s ban list of advancing apps, sources told. The lending apps ban is part of the government’s crackdown on laying and advancing apps with Chinese links, which has resulted in bans on 94 loan apps and 138 laying apps. Google declined to comment on the matter. KreditBee and Ola Avail Finance didn’t respond to Moneycontrol queries.
“The Kissht app is presently operating easily for our guests across India. While we have not entered any formal announcement on the status of our app, we’re apprehensive of the development and are seeking clarity from the concerned authorities. We’re hopeful that this will be resolved soon without interposing services for our druggies,” the company said. According to assiduity sources, the MeitY list includes a host of prominent VC-backed lending platforms and not just fly-by-night drivers which were spiked by an earlier directive in 2021. Numerous of the apps on the list have Chinese investors. KrediBee, which recently raised a $100 Mn backing round, had Chinese companies Xiaomi, Kunlun, and Shunwei Capital on its captable. Still, all those investors exited in 2021. Meanwhile, PayMe is backed by investors grounded in Dubai and Singapore. Still, as per the sources, MeitY’s crackdown isn’t limited to apps with Chinese links.
The ministry is also targeting apps against which a large number of complaints have been entered from users about importunity and the use of strong-arm collection tactics. The rise in digital penetration has also resulted in a sharp increase in the number of complaints against digital lending apps over the last many times for draining and bogarting their users. As per the investigative agencies, these realities are fronts to launder money. Numerous of these China- linked apps were also set up to be charging extortionate quantities of interest from Indian customers.