Xiaomi is accused of moving Rs 55.51 billion in foreign currency to three firms, including a Xiaomi group entity, under the premise of royalty payments.
As part of an investigation into illegal remittances made by the Chinese smartphone maker to overseas entities, India’s anti-crime agency has issued a show-cause notice to Xiaomi’s India unit, its officials, and three banks.
The notice was issued in accordance with the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA) and applies to remittances worth 55.51 billion Indian rupees ($673.2 million).
According to the Enforcement Directorate, Xiaomi began illegally transporting money abroad in 2015, using false information and disguising the funds as royalty payments. The government froze Xiaomi’s assets in India last year, charging that the business committed illicit remittances by misrepresenting them as royalty payments to overseas entities.
Xiaomi Denies The Allegations
Xiaomi is accused of transferring 55.51 billion rupees in foreign funds to three firms, including a Xiaomi group entity, under the premise of royalty payments. Xiaomi, on the other side, has denied these allegations, claiming that its royalty payments were legitimate and promising to protect its name and interests.
According to the agency, Xiaomi’s acts violate Section 4 of the Foreign Exchange Management Act, which prohibits the acquisition, ownership, possession, or transfer of foreign currency, foreign securities, or immovable property located outside of India.
In April, an Indian court denied the Chinese smartphone maker’s appeal against the seizure, representing a significant blow for the firm, which is one of India’s fastest-growing smartphone brands.
Xiaomi has made significant investments in India in recent years, including the creation of manufacturing facilities and the release of low-cost handsets aimed at price-conscious consumers.
India’s Heightened Scrutiny Of Chinese Enterprises
Foreign firms operating in India, notably those from China, have been subjected to increased scrutiny and regulatory obstacles. Authorities in India have become more diligent in enforcing financial regulations and investigating alleged crimes such as tax fraud, money laundering, and violations of foreign exchange restrictions.
Tensions between India and China originating from a border dispute have hindered Chinese firms’ operations in India since 2020.
Due to security concerns, over 300 Chinese apps, including popular ones like TikTok, have been blocked in India. In recent years, Chinese enterprises such as WeChat and Alibaba have experienced scrutiny, restrictions, and compliance difficulties linked to data privacy, national security, and local regulations.