Sunday, March 3, 2024

China to provide consular protection to Vivo employees arrested by ED in India

Days after the Enforcement Directorate arrested two senior employees of Vivo India in connection with a money laundering case, China has urged Indian authorities to not discriminate against Chinese companies.

China has asked India to provide a “fair, transparent and non-discriminatory” environment to its companies operating in India.

“The Chinese government firmly supports Chinese companies to safeguard their lawful rights and interests,” Reuters quoted Mao Ning, the spokesperson for China’s foreign affairs ministry, as saying.

Last week, the Enforcement Directorate arrested two Vivo India employees. On Saturday, they were presented in a Delhi court and subsequently remanded to the custody of the central agency.

Vivo said that it would challenge the arrests in court.

“We are deeply alarmed by the current action of the authorities,” a Vivo spokesperson said in a statement. “The recent arrests demonstrate continued harassment and as such induce an environment of uncertainty amongst the wider industry landscape. We are resolute in using all legal avenues to address and challenge these accusations.”

Two months ago, the ED arrested four persons, including one Chinese national, in connection with the money-laundering investigation against Vivo’s Indian subsidiary. The agency had launched the investigation against Vivo under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act in July 2022.

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