A day after the Enforcement Directorate (ED) conducted searches at multiple locations across the country linked to Chinese smartphone manufacturer Vivo, Beijing has responded, saying it hopes for a fair probe.
The ED raided at least 44 places across India on Tuesday in a money-laundering investigation against Vivo and related firms.
Sources told news agency ANI that Vivo directors Zhengshen Ou and Zhang Jie fled from India as ED intensified its inquiries.
The searches were carried out under sections of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) at locations in several states including Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Meghalaya, and Maharashtra.
Asked about the raids, Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian told a press meet that Beijing is closely following the developments on this matter.
“As I have stressed many times, the Chinese government has always asked Chinese companies to abide by laws and regulations when doing business overseas,” Zhao said. “In the meantime, we firmly support Chinese companies in safeguarding their lawful rights and interests.”
The raids come against the backdrop of a lingering military deadlock between India and China along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in eastern Ladakh that has been on for more than two years.
“We hope the Indian authorities will abide by laws as they carry out the investigation and enforcement activities and provide a truly fair, just and non-discriminatory business environment for Chinese companies investing and operating in India,” Zhao said.
A Vivo India spokesperson said they’re cooperating with authorities.
(With agency inputs)