The Indian government’s scrutiny on Chinese-linked apps has reached the doors of homegrown companies. Loan apps PayU’s LazyPay and Kissht have been blocked following a notice from the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY).
Sources, however, say that the two apps may have been blocked due to confusion, something that has happened in the past as well.
“Kissht and LazyPay bank accounts were frozen when Chinese loan apps were restricted by MeitY previously. But, their banking facilities were restored when they clarified to authorities about no linkage to China,” said one of the sources requesting anonymity.
While some users can still download both the mobile apps on Android, their websites throw error messages even after multiple attempts. Entrackr verified this through several devices.
“The Kissht app and website are working for its customers. We are aware that Google has been asked to take down a list of companies from the Play Store that includes our company, but uncertain about the cause of such a notification. We are meeting officials tomorrow to seek clarification,” Kissht spokesperson said in a statement. The person also said that it has no Chinese stakeholders.
Economic Times reported the development first.
On Sunday, MeitY reportedly blocked 138 betting and 94 loan apps with China links for their alleged involvement in money laundering, and posing threat to India’s financial security.
Entrackr has reached out to LazyPay for comments.
Most short term loan apps including the Indian ones deploy harsh measures — such as calling borrower’s family and friends in case of default. This has resulted into extreme steps in some cases where the borrowers resorted to suicide. “The government seems to have taken note of these hard tactics and banned Kishht and LazyPay,” said another industry source who also requested not to be named.
Update: The story and headline have been updated after a statement from Kissht.