India’s frequent investigations into Chinese firms chill investment confidence: embassy
Published: Jul 06, 2022 09:50 AM Updated: Jul 06, 2022 09:46 AM
A man walks past an advertisement of Chinese mobile phone maker VIVO, in Mumbai on June 22. Photo:AFP
A man walks past an advertisement of Chinese mobile phone maker VIVO, in Mumbai on June 22. Photo:AFP

The frequent investigations by Indian authorities into Chinese enterprises not only disrupt normal business activities and damage the goodwill, but also impede the improvement of business environment in India and chill the confidence and willingness of market entities from other countries, including those from China to invest in India, Wang Xiaojian, counsellor and spokesperson from Chinese Embassy in India, said on Wednesday.

The essence of China-India economic and trade cooperation is based on mutual benefit and win-win results, Wang said in a statement on the embassy’s website. “The bilateral trade volume between China and India strikes a historical record of over $100 billion in 2021, which reflects the huge potential and broad prospect of economic and trade cooperation between our two countries.”

The comment came after Indian news agency PTI said that India’s Enforcement Directorate was conducting raids at 40 locations in Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, and in southern states, which it said, is in connection with a prevention of money laundering case linked to Vivo and other Chinese firms.

The report said that the office of Vivo and the premises of a few other Chinese firms had been raided.

Vivo denied Indian media’s allegation of money laundering in the country, saying it’s committed to be fully compliant with laws in India. “Vivo India is cooperating with the authorities to provide them with all required information. As a responsible corporate, we are committed to be fully compliant with laws in India,” the company told Global Times on Tuesday night.

China’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian commented at a press briefing on Wednesday that the ministry is closely monitoring such reports.

“The Chinese government has always asked Chinese companies to comply with local laws and regulations in their overseas operations and will firmly support Chinese companies to maintain their legitimate rights and interests,” Zhao reiterated.

The Indian side should act in line with laws and regulations, and provide a fair and non-discriminatory business environment for Chinese firms, he said.

India has been politicizing economic issues with China since the two countries’ tensions broke out in June 2020, with growing clampdown on Chinese companies operating in the country.

In a major crackdown on Chinese mobile companies, India’s Income Tax Department reportedly conducted searches on leading Chinese mobile companies including Oppo, Xiaomi and OnePlus across the country in December.

After seizing $726 million from Chinese tech firm Xiaomi Inc in April, India has started the process of inspecting books of accounts of more than 500 Chinese companies, including ZTE Corp, Vivo, Xiaomi and Huawei Technologies, Bloomberg reported in May.

Global Times