Indian financial crime agency ED raids Chinese-owned smartphone maker Vivo

FILE PHOTO: A Vivo logo is seen at a shopping mall in Shanghai, China February 22, 2019. Picture taken February 22, 2019. REUTERS/Aly Song

India’s financial crime-fighting agency on Tuesday raided the offices of smartphone maker Vivo, owned by China’s BBK Electronics, and its related entities, a senior government official and an industry executive told Reuters.

The searches by the Enforcement Directorate are part of an investigation into suspected money laundering, local media reported.

Vivo is cooperating with the authorities to provide them with all required information,” a Vivo spokesperson said in an emailed statement. “As a responsible corporate, we are committed to be fully compliant with laws.”

The Directorate did not respond to requests for comment.

The sources declined to be named as the probe is not public.

The raids at Vivo come months after the Enforcement Directorate launched an investigation into Xiaomi Corp, one of India’s leading smartphone sellers, for alleged illegal remittances abroad “in the guise of royalty” payments.

Xiaomi has denied any wrongdoing and alleged in court that its top executives faced threats of “physical violence” and coercion during questioning by officials at the Directorate. The agency denied the allegations.

Many Chinese companies have struggled to do business in India due to political tensions following a border clash in 2020. India has cited security concerns since banning more than 300 Chinese apps, and also tightened norms for Chinese companies investing in India.

Reuters

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