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India probes ZTE, Vivo as more China firms under scrutiny

The Ministry of Corporate Affairs will scrutinize auditor reports and has received information from unnamed sources that indicates potential violation including fraud, according to the documents.

May 31, 2022 / 07:14 AM IST

India is probing the local units of ZTE Corp. and Vivo Mobile Communications Co. for alleged financial improprieties, according to documents seen by Bloomberg, extending an investigation into other China-based firms after fining Xiaomi Corp.

The Ministry of Corporate Affairs will scrutinize auditor reports and has received information from unnamed sources that indicates potential violation including fraud, according to the documents. In the case of Vivo, an inquiry was sought in April to detect if there were “significant irregularities in ownership and financial reporting” while authorities were asked to study the books of ZTE and submit findings “on urgent basis,” according to the documents.

Representatives for ZTE and Vivo didn’t reply to emails seeking comment. An email to the spokesperson for the ministry of corporate affairs wasn’t answered.

India has tightened scrutiny of China-based firms since 2020, when the two nations saw the deadliest fighting in decades at their disputed Himalayan border. Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government has banned more than 200 mobile applications from Chinese providers, including shopping services from Alibaba Group Holding Ltd., the TikTok short video hit from ByteDance Ltd. and apps used on Xiaomi’s phones. This month the country’s anti-money-laundering agency took control of the bank accounts of Xiaomi Technology India for allegedly breaching foreign-exchange laws, a decision that was put on hold following a court order.