Vivo India Accused of Forging Identity Documents to Gain Unfair Advantage

New Delhi: The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has filed a charge sheet against Chinese smartphone maker Vivo India, alleging that the company set up a web of companies through Vivo China to evade taxes and cheat the Indian government. The Delhi High Court has taken cognizance of the matter and has directed the accused to appear before it by February 19, 2024.

The accused include Hari Om Rai, managing director of Lava International Mobile Company; Chinese national Guangwen alias Andrew Kuang; chartered accountant Nitin Garg; and Rajan Malik. The charge sheet alleges that the accused violated Indian laws and the country’s economic sovereignty by forging identity documents to gain an unfair advantage for themselves.

The ED further claims that the accused enabled Vivo-India to make wrongful gains that were prejudicial to the country’s economic sovereignty. The agency raided the premises of Vivo-India and its affiliates last year after Vivo-India was accused of transferring Rs 62,476 crore illegally to China to evade taxes. Vivo-India denied the allegations.

The case against Vivo-India highlights the increasing scrutiny of Chinese companies in India, with the government concerned about the security risks posed by Chinese technology. The government has been taking steps to restrict the use of Chinese equipment in critical infrastructure projects and has also banned several Chinese apps.

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