Vivo Pledges Support for Executives Arrested in India Amid Geopolitical Tensions
Updated: Jan 8
Chinese smartphone brand Vivo has made a commitment to "exercise all available legal options" to assist its four executives who were arrested in India.
The arrests come as tensions between Beijing and New Delhi continue to rise. The individuals, including one Chinese national, were apprehended by India's Enforcement Directorate (ED), which is responsible for combating financial crimes.
Vivo, based in Dongguan, stated that it "firmly adheres to its ethical principles and remains dedicated to legal compliance." The company expressed deep concern over the recent arrests and affirmed its commitment to supporting its executives through all legal means.
Last year, Indian authorities conducted raids on numerous Vivo offices on suspicion of money laundering, following similar actions against Chinese competitors Xiaomi and Huawei. In December, India's revenue intelligence unit held up approximately 27,000 Vivo smartphones worth nearly $15 million at a New Delhi airport, preventing the company's Indian unit from exporting the devices to neighboring markets.
Counterpoint, a market research firm, reported that Vivo was the world's fifth-largest smartphone vendor by shipments in the second quarter of this year. In India, Vivo held a 17% market share during the same period, ranking second behind Samsung Electronics.
Chinese technology companies, including Vivo, have faced increased regulatory scrutiny in India since a deadly border clash between soldiers from the two countries in June 2020. In response, India has banned numerous Chinese-linked apps, citing national security concerns. Vivo's competitor, Xiaomi, is also engaged in a legal battle with Indian authorities to recover $676 million in funds seized from its local subsidiary over allegations of foreign exchange violations.
Furthermore, smartphone manufacturers in India are facing additional challenges due to proposed rules that would require companies to offer users the option to remove pre-installed apps. The regulations would also mandate government screening of major operating system updates before their release to consumers.
Vivo pledges to support its executives arrested in India and vows to explore all legal options.
The arrests come amid escalating geopolitical tensions between China and India.
Indian authorities raided Vivo's offices last year on suspicion of money laundering.