I-T Dept searches offices of Chinese mobile companies in Delhi, TN, Hyderabad

Multiple searches in various states were conducted against entities engaged with Chinese mobile phone manufacturers on charges of tax evasion.
File image of the Income Tax Office in Delhi
File image of the Income Tax Office in Delhi
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With the Income Tax department conducting searches at several premises of Chinese mobile companies across the nation, leading smartphone brands Xiaomi and OPPO said on Wednesday they continue to cooperate with authorities as per the law of the land. According to sources, the smartphone companies were allegedly violating rules and norms to evade taxes and were on the radar of several probe agencies, including the I-T Department.

In a statement to IANS, a Xiaomi spokesperson said that as a responsible company, "we give paramount importance to ensuring that we are compliant with all Indian laws. As an invested partner in India, we are fully cooperating with authorities to ensure they have all the required information," the company spokesperson added. OPPO said: "We highly respect and abide by the law of the land. We will continue to fully cooperate with authorities concerned as per procedure.”

Earlier, some Chinese firms which were allegedly running mobile loan application and transport business, were raided by the government agencies. Now, few more firms have come into their radar.

According to sources, several teams were formed by the I-T Department to conduct searches which started around 9 am on Wednesday, and were likely to continue till late in the day. Reliable sources had earlier told IANS that in the case of Xiaomi, routine IT procedure was being carried on, and there was no I-T raid at its premises or at its distributors' places. According to an official, basically the manufacturing units were being raided along with a few corporate houses. 

"Few teams also raided the godowns (warehouses) of the Chinese mobile companies. The officials have recovered incriminating documents," said the source.  The raids took place at the offices of state-distribution partners of OPPO, including in Hyderabad, the source added.

ZTE, a Chinese firm which deals in telecom equipment manufacturing in Gurugram, was on the radar of the I-T Department. The firm was also raided in August this year. "We had recorded the statement of their India head in connection with tax evasion. We had found irregularities on their end. They were concealing information to avoid tax," said the official.

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