India seizes $58.7m from Chinese smartphone maker Vivo for tax evasion

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India’s anti-money laundering agency said on Thursday it seized 119 bank accounts containing 4.65 billion rupees ($58.75 million) from Indian companies linked to Chinese smartphone maker Vivo for tax evasion.

India’s Directorate of Law Enforcement said Vivo India transferred 62.47 billion rupees ($7.9 million), or almost 50%, of its total revenue outside the country. countries, mainly to China.

“These remittances were made in order to disclose huge losses in Indian incorporated companies to avoid paying taxes in India,” the management said in a statement.

It raided 48 sites owned by Vivo India and 23 related entities on July 5, after an initial investigation found shareholders had used “false identity documents and falsified addresses at the time of incorporation” .

Vivo India employees, including some Chinese nationals, did not cooperate with the search proceedings and attempted to “run away, remove and hide digital devices”, management said.

He also claimed that the addresses provided by the directors of Grand Prospect International Communication – one of Vivo India’s shareholders – were a government building and the residence of a senior official.

Vivo India was incorporated in August 2014 as a subsidiary of Hong Kong-based Multi Accord Ltd. All of its three directors, Zhengshen Ou, Bin Lou and Zhang Jie, fled India in 2018 and 2021, according to management.

Epoch Times has reached out to Vivo India for comment.

Response from the Chinese Embassy

The Chinese Embassy in India has criticized Indian authorities for “frequent investigations” into Chinese companies, saying such measures “hinder the improvement of the business environment in India” and “chill confidence and will.” “companies from other countries.

“We are following the matter closely,” the embassy told reporters, adding that the Chinese regime has reminded Chinese companies to abide by overseas laws and regulations.

Vivo India probe comes after management raided Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi in May and seized $725 million of the company’s illegal remittances to three overseas-based entities under the guise of payments royalties.

Xiaomi later said its royalty payments were “legitimate and truthful” as they were used “for licensed technologies and IP addresses used in our Indian version products”.

India last year upheld its ban on 59 Chinese mobile apps, including ByteDance’s video-sharing app TikTok, Tencent’s messaging app Wechat and Alibaba’s UC browser, citing concerns national security and sovereignty.

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Aldgra Fredly is a Malaysia-based freelance writer covering Asia-Pacific news for The Epoch Times.


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