China on Wednesday expressed hope that India will conduct the ongoing investigations into the Chinese mobile manufacturer firm Vivo in accordance with the law and regulations and provide a " truly fair" and "non-discriminatory" business environment to China's firms.
Asked about the ongoing raids on Vivo offices in several locations in India, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian told a media briefing here that the Chinese side is closely following the developments on this matter.
"As I have stressed many times, the Chinese government has always asked Chinese companies to abide by laws and regulations when doing business overseas," Mr. Zhao said.
"In the meantime, we firmly support Chinese companies in safeguarding their lawful rights and interests," he said.
"We hope the Indian authorities will abide by laws as they carry out the investigation and enforcement activities and provide a truly fair, just and non-discriminatory business environment for Chinese companies investing and operating in India," the spokesman said.
In New Delhi, the spokesman of the Chinese embassy said that the frequent investigations by Indian authorities into Chinese enterprises not only disrupt their normal business activities and damage their goodwill but also impede the business environment in India and will affect the confidence of market entities from other countries, including Chinese firms in invest in india.
"The essence of China-India economic and trade cooperation is for mutual benefit and win-win results," Spokesman and Councellor Wang Xiaojian said in a statement.
The bilateral trade volume between China and India of over $100 billion in 2021 reflects the huge potential and broad prospect of economic and trade cooperation between the countries, he added.
The Enforcement Directorate (ED) raided at least 44 places across India on Tuesday in a money-laundering investigation against Chinese smartphone manufacturer Vivo and related firms.
The searches were carried out under sections of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) at locations in several states including Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Meghalaya and Maharashtra.
A Vivo India spokesperson said they're cooperating with authorities.
The action is being seen as part of the Union government's steps to tighten checks on Chinese entities and the continued crackdown on such firms and their linked Indian operatives that are allegedly indulging in serious financial crimes like money laundering and tax evasion while operating in India.
The stepped-up action against the Chinese-backed companies or entities operating in India comes in the backdrop of the military stand-off between the two countries along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in eastern Ladakh has been ongoing for more than two years now.