Friday 1 July 2022
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Chinese state-run companies harnessing personal data of Indians

The RoC under the Ministry of Corporate Affairs has set up cells across India to investigate reports of shell companies involving Chinese links with betting and dating apps

Chinese companies operating in India for tax were reportedly spying, gathering personal data of a lot many Indians reportedly for senior members of the Communist Party of China (CCP). As the law of China mandates tech companies to share data with the CCP, if required, it implies that the Xi Jinping government is analysing the data.

Further, when not linked directly to the communist regime, many Chinese companies are directly or indirectly owned by senior members of the CCP, according to a report by The Economic Times.

The Registrar of Companies (RoC) under the Ministry of Corporate Affairs has set up cells across India to investigate reports of shell companies involving Chinese links with betting and dating apps. Chinese companies capitalised on India’s growing digital sector to harness the personal data of Indian citizens. Several such apps promised easy money and burdened users with hefty interest, the report added.

Licences of as many as 40 non-banking finance companies (NBFCs) with links to Chinese citizens may be cancelled. One such app Shopee stopped operations abruptly in March after complaints were raised against it. One app in which Shopee’s parent investor had a stake was banned in the aftermath of the Galwan incident.

The Indian government is investigating some Chinese companies found in violation of export-import laws and GST-related manipulations. A favourite tool of such GST offenders is fake inputs to avail input tax credits.

In March, media in India reported that several Chinese entities were involved in illegal activities directly or through proxies across sectors like telecom, higher education and small finance. The reports highlighted that more than a dozen Chinese apps targeting low-income users are on the radar of Indian agencies.

CCP mouthpiece Global Times, following the expose on Indian media, tried to desperately defend its masters, saying, “‘Data leak’ and ‘national security concerns’ are common excuses used by anti-China politicians and media in India to push unreasonable investigations and restrictions on Chinese companies. These catch-all and baseless excuses have become a typical demonstration of the country’s protectionist and discriminative approaches against Chinese businesses. The Economic Times report is nothing but another slandering piece full of ill-intentioned speculation.”

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