How a Chinese scam exploded in India

Playful betting apps operated by cross-border entities have seen hundreds or even thousands of Indians lose lakhs of rupees.

Dipesh Nagpal wasn’t expecting the call he received at 7 pm on 12 August 2020. A product manager at a Chinese company in Gurugram, Nagpal had finished his work-from-home shift and was sitting down to dinner with his parents in West Delhi’s Rajendra Nagar. The caller was Ankit Kapoor, one of his bosses, who ordered him to drive 30 km to Gurugram for an emergency meeting at a location unknown to him. 

Nagpal hadn’t attended a physical work meeting since March, when India went into its first coronavirus lockdown, let alone been called to work after office hours. He was …


Snigdha Poonam

Snigdha is a journalist and writer. Her first book, Dreamers: How Young Indians Are Changing The World, won 2018’s Crossword Award for nonfiction. She has reported on national affairs for The Hindustan Times in Delhi. Her journalism has also appeared in Scroll, The Times of India, The New York Times, The Guardian, Foreign Policy and the Financial Times.


Samarth Bansal

Samarth is a reporter and computer programmer. He writes The Interval, a fortnightly newsletter. His reportage has appeared in The Atlantic, The Wall Street Journal, HuffPost, Mint and Quartz.