The Hong-Kong headquartered logistics company Lalamove which was emerging as another popular app for the inter and intra-city logistics believed that India would be its second biggest market in a few years. However, after the India-China border clash the company had to put breaks on its dreams as it was compelled to close its operations in the country.
The Government of India after the border clash with China took the decision to ban hundreds of Chinese mobile apps in the nation. Following the same move, the government recently banned another 40+ Chinese apps due to security concerns and Lalamove was one of them
The company established in 2013 launched its services in the Indian market in February 2019 and provided on-demand, same-day and advance order delivery services by connecting users with delivery drivers on its mobile and web apps.
Registered as Lalamove (India) Private Limited, the tech-based company catered to the needs of MSMEs and the daily requirements of the people. Lalamove offered features such as instant order matching, GPS vehicle tracking, 24/7 services, and driver rating. Further, it connected customers and drivers by offering mini trucks and bike deliveries for same-day deliveries.
The company which availed services in cities like Mumbai, Bangalore, Delhi NCR, Pune, Chennai, and Hyderabad in January this year planned to expand its operations in India.
Lalamove was eager to meet its objective of being present in 10 cities in three years and rope in more drivers to expand their network and also improve their logistical efficiency. However, the imposed ban forced the company to throw its expansions plans out the window.
Breach of security?
The ban imposed on the 40+ apps including Lalamove claims to protect the security of the nation. The IT ministry while imposing the ban said, it has invoked its power under section 69A of the IT Act and rules, and has decided to block 43 apps in view of the information available that they are “engaged in activities which are prejudicial to sovereignty and integrity of India, defence of India, the security of the state and public order.”
In terms of permissions, the app requested for device ID and call information, precise location, device and app history, photos, media and files, camera, storage (including permission to modify or delete the contents of your USB storage and read the contents of your USB storage), find accounts on the device, read contacts, view Wi-Fi connection, record audio, access download manager, download files without notification, receive data from Internet, connect and disconnect from Wi-Fi, full network access, send sticky broadcast, change system display settings, change network connectivity, modify system settings, view network connections, prevent device from sleeping, change your audio settings, control vibration, and draw over other apps.
The company’s other application called Lalamove – Driver, along with accessing the mentioned permissions, also seek access to run at start-up, reorder running apps, set wallpaper, toggle sync on and off, and read Google service configuration.
After the ban, both the applications of the company “Lalamove-on demand delivery app” and “Lalamove-Driver” have been removed from the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store.