As the Government of India banned hundreds of Chinese mobile apps over the last few months, joining the big names such as ByteDance, Tencent and Alibaba is Lalamove - a HongKong-headquartered logistics company. Emerging as another popular app for intra-city and inter-city logistics solutions, both Lalamove - On-demand Delivery and Lalamove Driver have been blocked citing security concerns.
Founded in 2013, Lalamove entered the Indian market in December 2018 and launched services in 2019. Registered as Lalamove (India) Private Limited, the company claimed to have specialised in end-to-end logistical solutions. Catering to the needs of MSMEs and the daily requirements of the people, the company offered features such as instant order matching, GPS vehicle tracking, 24/7 services, and driver rating. It connected customers and drivers by offering mini trucks and bike deliveries for same-day deliveries. Be it business-to-business (B2B), business-to-customer (B2C) or personal delivery, Lalamove was used for food and groceries delivery, medical supplies and other essentials as approved by the government. The services were available in cities like Mumbai, Bangalore, Delhi NCR, Pune, Chennai, and Hyderabad.
Between the two, Lalamove - On-demand Delivery app was the hyper-local delivery service provider giving consumers access to professional delivery partners for getting anything delivered at any time. This service supported multi-stop orders, offered real-time order tracking and automated e-receipts post-competition of delivery. The service was often used for document, food & drink, groceries, fragile packages as well as heavy and bulky deliveries including furniture, small-scale moves, wholesale good, and more. On the other hand, Lalamove Driver helped onboard delivery partners, suggesting them to turn their free time into earnings. The app description suggested one could earn by driving their car or truck and delivering. It allowed users to work around their schedule and select orders whenever they are available.
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, find accounts on the device, 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. 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.
While both the banned apps have been removed from the Apple App Store, they continue to be available for download on the Google Play Store. At the time of filing the article, we could book a delivery request using the installed app on an iPhone.
Business Today reached out to Lalamove India team to understand the security concerns raised by the government and the impact of the ban. We did not receive any response till the time of filing the article.