Indian Government Confiscates $59 Million from Chinese Phone Maker Vivo

The Indian Enforcement Directorate (ED) confiscated $59 million from Chinese phone maker Vivo on Thursday over tax evasion charges.

According to the ED, the Indian anti-money laundering agency, Vivo India sent $7.9 million, or over 50% of the total confiscated amount outside of India, primarily to China.

The ED reported that Vivo India made these transactions to “disclose huge losses in Indian incorporated companies” in order to avoid paying taxes in India.

After an initial investigation revealed that Chinese stockholders had “used forged identification documents and falsified addresses at the time of incorporation,” the ED conducted searches in 48 locations belonging to Vivo India and connected the company to 23 other enterprises on July 5.

“These [23] companies are found to have transferred huge amounts of funds to Vivo India,” said the ED in a statement.

Vivo India became the subject of an inquiry after the ED previously raided Xiaomi, a Chinese smartphone manufacturer, in May and seized $725 million as a result of the company’s unauthorized payments to three foreign-based organizations under the pretense of royalties.

The Indian government also banned 59 Chinese mobile applications last year, including the video-sharing app TikTok, the messaging app WeChat, and the UC Browser, citing concerns about national security and sovereignty.

The Chinese Embassy in India said that it is “following the issue closely,” and added that the Chinese government had advised Chinese businesses to follow local rules and regulations abroad.

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