MUMBAI: After police in India raided dozens of Vivo’s offices on suspicion of money laundering, the Chinese smartphone manufacturer said Tuesday that it was “cooperating with authorities” in that country.
Vivo is now the most recent Chinese technology company to be under investigation by Indian law enforcement, following earlier this year’s raids on Xiaomi and Huawei.
A representative for Vivo stated that the Enforcement Directorate, India’s agency for combating financial crime, had carried out repeated raids and taken property from the company.
“Vivo is working with the police to give them all the information they need.”
According to statistics from tech research firm Counterpoint, Vivo specialises in low-cost smartphones and by last year had 15% of the fiercely competitive smartphone industry in India.
Since its market launch in 2012, multi-year sponsorships of well-known sporting events like the Indian Premier League T20 cricket tournament have helped Vivo’s brand become well-known in India.
The parent firm of Vivo, BBK Electronics, also owns Oppo, a competitor brand that offers OnePlus and Realme tablets and smartphones.
Since a tragic military standoff between the two countries in the Himalayas in 2020, relations between India and China have been at an all-time low.
Following this, the home ministry of India banned hundreds of mobile apps with Chinese roots, including the immensely well-liked social media network TikTok.
The government defended the restrictions as a vital measure to protect India’s sovereignty.
Since the deadly army battle in 2020, anti-China sentiment has increased in India, prompting demands for consumer boycotts of Chinese products.
With more than $125 billion in bilateral commerce last year, China nevertheless remains India’s most important trading partner.