Four Vivo Executives Arrested in India Amid Money Laundering Probe
The Enforcement Directorate (ED) in India, an agency focused on combating financial crimes, has arrested four individuals with connections to the Chinese smartphone manufacturer Vivo, including one Chinese national. The arrests are related to an ongoing money laundering case that has seen Vivo, Huawei, and Xiaomi offices raided in India. Although initial reports suggested all four arrested individuals worked for Vivo, it was later clarified that only one, Chinese national Guanwen Kuang, was a Vivo employee. The other defendants include Hari Om Rai, managing director of Lava International, and chartered accountant Nitin Garg.
Tensions Between India and China
Tensions between India and China have been high since a military clash in 2020. India has taken steps to scrutinize and restrict Chinese smartphone and mobile app companies, leading to bans on games associated with Chinese firms such as Tencent. These measures have prompted the creation of games like BattleGrounds Mobile India, designed to avoid Chinese connections.
Vivo's Status in India and Ongoing Controversies
Vivo currently holds the second-largest market share in India's smartphone market, with a 17% share. However, the company's business practices in China have faced scrutiny. Following the raid on its offices, a substantial number of Vivo smartphones were seized, and the ED blocked related bank accounts, although this action was later revoked by an Indian court. Indian authorities have also accused Vivo of facilitating fund transfers to a news portal under investigation for spreading Chinese propaganda.
In response to the arrests, a Vivo spokesperson affirmed the company's commitment to ethical principles and legal compliance and expressed deep concern about the situation.
Source: Lewis Rees, Staff Writer for PocketGamer.biz