Investigators from India searched an Oppo subsidiary there after learning that it had allegedly avoided paying $551 million in customs fees.
(AP) NEW DELHI — According to the government, Indian authorities have searched an Indian branch of Chinese smartphone manufacturer Oppo and have accused it of dodging customs charges worth 43.9 billion rupees ($551 million).
India’s financial crime investigating body, the Enforcement Directorate, claimed to have sent a notice to the corporation requesting the money’s return.
The Directorate has searched for a second Chinese mobile company this month: Oppo India, a division of Guangdong Oppo Mobile Telecommunications Corp. Ltd. in China.
Following a Himalayan border standoff between the military of the two nuclear-armed neighbors that began in 2020, the activities highlight the strict surveillance of Chinese firms. In the standoff, 24 Indian soldiers and 4 Chinese soldiers died.
India has also tightened regulations on Chinese investment in India and banned more than 300 Chinese mobile apps, both actions being justified by security concerns.
In India, Oppo India manufactures, assembles, wholesales, and distributes mobile devices and accessories.
The directorate charged Oppo India with misreporting royalties and license fees and exploiting ineligible duty exemptions worth 2.9 billion rupees ($377 million) in a statement. It claimed that a sizeable sum of money had been sent to China to evade paying taxes in India.
It was impossible to speak with an Oppo India spokesman right away for comment. Zhao Lijian, a spokesman for the Chinese Foreign Ministry, stated earlier this month in Beijing that the Chinese government expects Chinese enterprises doing business abroad to adhere to local laws and regulations and supports the companies’ efforts to protect their rights and interests.
Zhao said, “We hope India will carry out investigations and law enforcement by the law and provide a fair, just, and non-discriminatory business environment for Chinese firms’ investment and operation in India.
As part of a probe into claims that the smartphone manufacturer was involved in money laundering, Indian officials stated last Thursday that they had raided dozens of offices of the Chinese-owned Vivo Mobile India Private Limited.
During the raids on the business owned by China’s BBK Electronics, the Enforcement Directorate of India claimed to have confiscated 119 bank accounts containing 4.65 billion rupees ($58.76 million), 2 kilos (4.4 pounds) of gold bars, and 7.3 million rupees ($92,405) in cash.
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