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ED seizes ₹5,551 crore deposits of smartphone giant Xiaomi India for FEMA violation

PTI | | Updated on: Apr 30, 2022
An advertisement for Xiaomi’s Redmi Note 11 smartphone stands at a Xiaomi store in Shanghai

An advertisement for Xiaomi’s Redmi Note 11 smartphone stands at a Xiaomi store in Shanghai | Photo Credit: ALY SONG

This is in connection with alleged "illegal remittances" sent abroad by the Chinese firm in February

Funds worth over ₹5,551 crore of Chinese mobile manufacturing company Xiaomi India have been "seized" for violating the Indian foreign exchange law, the Enforcement Directorate said on Saturday.

The action has been taken against Xiaomi Technology India Private Limited. The company (also called Xiaomi India) is a trader and distributor of mobile phones in the country under the brand name of MI.

"Xiaomi India is wholly owned subsidiary of China-based Xiaomi group. This amount of ₹5,551.27 crore lying in the bank accounts of the company has been seized by the Enforcement Directorate," the agency said in a statement.

The seizure of funds has been done under relevant sections of the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA) after a probe was launched by the federal agency against the company in connection with alleged "illegal remittances" sent abroad by the Chinese firm in February.

Xiaomi started its operations in India in 2014 and started remitting the money from the next year, it said.  "The company has remitted foreign currency equivalent to ₹5,551.27 crore to three foreign based entities which include one Xiaomi group entity, in the guise of royalty," the ED said.

Royalties

Such huge amounts in the name of royalties were remitted on the instructions of their Chinese "parent group" entities, it alleged.  "The amount remitted to other two US-based unrelated entities were also for the ultimate benefit of the Xiaomi group entities," the ED said.

It said while Xiaomi India procures completely manufactured mobile sets and other products from the manufacturers in India it has not availed any service from these three foreign based entities to whom such amounts have been transferred.  "Under the cover of various unrelated documentary facade created amongst the group entities, the company remitted this amount in guise of royalty abroad which constitute violation of section 4 of the FEMA," it said.

The said section of the civil law of FEMA talks about "holding of foreign exchange." The ED also accused the company of providing "misleading information" to the banks while remitting the money abroad.

Earlier this month, the ED had also questioned the global vice president of the group, Manu Kumar Jain, at the agency's regional office in Bengaluru, Karnataka.

Published on April 30, 2022
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