The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Tuesday conducted searches at 44 locations throughout the nation as part of a money-laundering investigation against smartphone manufacturer Vivo and related businesses. The Ministry of Corporate Affairs and the IT department are both closely monitoring the Chinese manufacturing companies. The investigation into Chinese companies has been expanded by the ED raid.
In conjunction with a money-laundering investigation filed against Chinese smartphone maker Vivo, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) searched more than 40 locations nationwide on Tuesday. Searches were carried out at locations connected to Vivo and its dealers in Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, Jammu and Kashmir and other southern states. This is just one more example of how the government is keeping a close eye on Chinese companies. In order to investigate potential violations of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, the ED performed these searches (PMLA).
In India, Vivo is one of the top five manufacturers of smartphones. According to data gathered by research company Counterpoint, it held a 15% market share in the nation at the end of the first quarter of 2022.
The ED believes that this alleged forgery was carried out to conceal illegally obtained funds via paper or shell firms, and that part of these proceeds of crime was routed abroad or invested in other businesses by evading Indian tax and enforcement authorities.
For alleged violations of the Foreign Exchange Management Act, the ED had ordered the seizure of deposits from Chinese smartphone manufacturer Xiaomi India totalling Rs 5,551 crore in April. Similarly, IT also conducted a raid on the Chinese business Huawei earlier in February, alleging that the company had manipulated its account books to lower its taxable income in India.
This is also not the first time, recall that in December of last year several Chinese smartphone manufacturers’ offices, including those of Xiaomi, Oppo, and Vivo, as well as those of their distributors and connected associates, were raided across the nation.
The department later claimed to have found an alleged unexplained income value of over Rs 6,500 crore that was a result of a violation of Indian tax laws and regulations.
Vivo is now ranked fourth, behind Xiaomi, Samsung, and Realme. Vivo, whose ‘T-Series’ line of smartphones has received favourable customer feedback, was the leading manufacturer of 5G-enabled smartphones in the mid-segment in Q1 2022, according to Counterpoint’s statistics. Moreover, the government has been taking a harsh stance against Chinese investments since the Indo-China border tensions in the middle of 2020.
Update (statement) from Vivo India:
“Vivo is cooperating with the authorities to provide them with all the required information. As a responsible corporate, we are committed to be fully compliant with laws.”
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