India accuses Chinese phone maker Oppo of tax evasion as probes grow

India is seeking 43.89 billion rupees ($551 million) from smartphone maker Oppo for allegedly evading customs duties, the latest in a flurry of accusations by Delhi against Chinese tech giants.

The anti-smuggling agency has searched the offices of Guangdong Oppo Mobile Telecommunications Corp.’s local unit and questioned management, India’s Finance Ministry said on Wednesday. It found “incriminating evidence indicating willful mis-declaration of imported tools and components used to make phones, according to a statement.

The Oppo unit also failed to include licensing fees paid to overseas companies when calculating the value of goods imported, the ministry added.

Senior managers and Oppo suppliers have issued statements acknowledging errors, while the Chinese company has made a pre-payment of 4.5 billion rupees, the ministry said. A spokesperson for Oppo’s India unit could not be reached for comment.

The latest move underlines heightened scrutiny of Chinese companies, following a Himalayan border clash between the two nuclear-armed neighbors in 2020 that left 20 Indian and four Chinese soldiers dead.

Oppo’s woes follow accusations that bigger rival Xiaomi Corp. moved money out of the country by falsely claiming patent-fee payments. Last week, India’s anti-money laundering agency seized bank accounts, cash and gold bars belonging to Vivo Mobile Communications Co.’s local unit and related companies.

An Indian court lifted a freeze on Vivo’s accounts on Wednesday after the company made a guarantee of payment.

Authorities had been investigating the local units of ZTE Corp. and Vivo for alleged financial improprieties, Bloomberg News reported previously.

Related Articles

Back to top button