In order to prevent the spread of disinformation and false information, Chinese applications have been banned: Kwatra

In order to prevent the spread of disinformation and false information, Chinese applications have been banned: Kwatra

March 04, 2023 11:23 p.m IST

New Delhi [India]March 4 (ANI): External Affairs Minister Vinay Mohan Kwatra on Saturday said that Chinese apps have been banned in India to stop the spread of misinformation, disinformation and fake information.
“To answer your question, what is the interface of government to balance the availability of information, the availability of disinformation, the spread of disinformation and disinformation, that is the balance that every government must continue to address within a given social matrix .” said Kwatra while speaking at a panel discussion titled ‘Showstopper: Currencies of Power and Persuasion: Reflections on the Future’ at the eighth edition of the Raisina Dialogue.
He emphasized that balance is the constant thing that the government must continue to manage within a given social matrix.
“So what you’ve seen versus the banning of various Chinese apps is no different in that sense,” he added.
Pointing out how technology shapes the way forward, the question arises whether society is based on an economic model or whether it is open to the open acceptance of technology.
“In the Indian context, basically, if we look at technology, we basically have two basic sets of binaries, and the whole template of digital transformation in India is tied to those. First, openness versus closure. We’ve been very conscious about openness. The use of technology,” he added.
“If my economic model is purely based on manufacturing, and manufacturing is suddenly open to an explosion of automation, then obviously there will be huge disruptions in my system. But if I have a service economy, it will probably boom,” he added.
“Binary No. 2, which is the foundation, is public good versus private profit. We went for the public good because of our value system and our ethos,” he said.
In a major retaliation, India’s central government banned and blocked 138 betting apps and 94 credit-lending apps with Chinese links on an “urgent” and “emergency” basis in early February this year.

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The move comes after it was confirmed that these apps attract Section 69 of the IT Act as they contain material that violates India’s sovereignty and integrity.
The action behind the move is based on several complaints of blackmail and harassment of common people who availed small loans through mobile applications operated by such organizations and individuals.
It turns out that these apps were born from the ideas of Chinese nationals who hired Indians and made them directors. Desperate individuals are lured into taking out loans, and then the interest rate is raised by up to 3,000 percent annually.
When the debtors could not repay the interest, let alone the entire loan, the persons representing the applications began to harass the debtors.
They sent them lewd messages, threatening to release their morphed photos and shaming them with messages to friends.
The case came into the limelight after people who took such loans or lost money to betting apps committed suicide, particularly in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana.
According to sources, states like Telangana, Odisha and Uttar Pradesh and central intelligence agencies have asked the Union Home Ministry to take action against these apps.
Based on these inputs, MHA began analyzing 28 Chinese loan applications six months ago. However, they found that 94 apps are available on e-stores and others work through third-party links. Banned apps are no longer available for download on smartphones, but sources say betting apps and games are being downloaded from independent links or websites.
The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (MIB) issued a statement stating that since betting and gambling are illegal in most of the country, the advertising of these betting platforms and their substitutes are also illegal according to the provisions of the Consumer Protection Act. Act, 2019, Cable Television Network Regulation Act, 1995 and IT Rules, 2021. (ANI)

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